Saturday, August 13, 2011

And I Thought Thieves Were Brazen in Surrey, BC, Canada

Photo courtesy: WTAE/Public Domain

I thought I had seen the epitome of brazen criminal behaviour, right here in my own building, just a few months ago.

When one of my friends went down to the lobby at 5:30 am to leave for work she was shocked to see a grubby, skinny man using a blowtorch ...yes, I said blowtorch ... on our glass-enclosed entryway. Fortunately, the instant he saw her, he ran. She phoned police and.....

However, these thieves I'm about to tell you about have surpassed even that theft.

In Baltimore, thieves stole aluminum lampposts. In Philadelphia, you had to watch where you were walking, lest you fall into an open manhole; the covers were being stolen. Bar owners had to lock up their empty aluminum kegs. Meth heads were getting electrocuted stealing wire. It was all part of Peak Metal, where the commodity prices were getting so high that it was worthwhile for criminals to recycle just about anything metal.

In my neck of the woods, the problem is wiring and copper plumbing being stolen from abandoned homes. Of course, once they have the wiring and plumbing, the house is in rough shape.

Photo courtesy: Global informine/Public Domain

The creative recycling fell off as prices collapsed during the recession, but it is back as people get desperate. And in North Beaver Township, Pennsylvania, thieves have pulled off perhaps the biggest heist ever: an entire bridge, estimated to have $100,000 worth of steel. You can watch the worst news video ever about it here.

Image courtesy: googlemaps/Public Domain

Now, Consumerist reports that the thieves have been caught and according to the Post-Gazette, "face felony charges of criminal mischief, theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy".

Although the bridge was rarely used, it apparently had some notoriety:
Some people in Lawrence County believe Covert's Crossing might have been haunted. The historical society, in a video about haunted spots in the county, says some residents claim that a beautifully dressed woman haunts the bridge on prom night.

Now, it can add being the first; and, hopefully, only bridge stolen under cover of darkness.

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