Earlier this month, the inhabitants of a small village in the Golcuk district of the Turkish province of Kocaeli awoke to find something different.
The village’s main bridge over a local creek — all 22 tons of it — was gone.
According to the Turkish publication Today’s Zaman, the dumbfounded villagers, who used the bridge to reach their orchards, alerted police about the theft on March 11. Police suspected that thieves dismantled the 82-ft.-long span to sell it as scrap metal — probably for about $12,000, noted Gizmodo. Authorities are still investigating the matter.
As for the villagers, life is indeed a hassle without the bridge. One resident, Mustafa Karakas, told a Turkish news agency that they now have to take their socks off and wade across the creek in order to tend the plantations, according to Today’s Zaman.
This is not the first time that an entire bridge has vanished. In May 2012, a group of thieves used a crane to dismantle a 10-ton steel pedestrian bridge and about 218 yards of railway track in the Czech Republic, reported Agence France-Presse. The thieves duped police officers with a forged document saying they were working on a bicycle path. And in 2011 two thieves armed with a blowtorch stole a 70-year-old bridge in broad daylight about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh; they reportedly made $5,100 off the 15.5 tons of steel, according to the Wall Street Journal.