NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania - Scrap metal thieves are often caught stealing construction material and indoor plumbing, but in Lawrence County, they're being blamed for stealing an entire bridge.
It's not an easy bridge to find. It's tucked back a couple hundred yards off Covert Road on an access road to the New Castle Development Industrial Park.
But now the 50-foot steel bridge is completely gone.
"I couldn't understand how a bridge could be gone," said New Castle Development Spokesman Gary Bruce. "I thought that with the rain it got washed away."
But the 40-ton steel bridge didn't wash away in the creek. It was stolen, cut right off of its foundation. You can even see the marks left where thieves used a blowtorch to detach the grating and steal beams.
Bruce believes it was taken out in pieces over a few days in the past month.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "I just wouldn't believe it."
Bruce says police believe the bridge was stolen for scrap metal. "They're looking in scrap yards to see if they can find anything brought there yet because it would've gone in recently."
An engineer, Bruce believes the profit from the scrap metal theft is a mere fraction of what it will cost to rebuild the bridge.
"It's going to be expensive," he estimated. "I don't know exactly but it's probably $100,000."
Anyone with information on this theft is asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police.