Police Confused After Thieves Steal 58-Foot-Long Pedestrian Bridge From Field

Police in Ohio are perplexed by the seemingly impossible theft of a pedestrian bridge.

Stored at an Akron field, a 58-foot bridge that previously was at nearby Middlebury Run Park, near Goodyear's world headquarters, was reported missing on November 11. The bridge had been removed as part of a wetlands restoration project and placed at Middlebury Run until city officials determined what to use it for.

"I have not heard of anything that large—albeit it disassembled but actually stolen, I can't think of anything comparable," Akron Police Lieutenant Michael Miller said. "We know it will be met with mystery and questions: who and how and why? All of those are unanswered. It ranks high on the list of mysteries, that's for sure."

Stealing a bridge, even one that is non-operational, might seem like a near-impossible task. However, authorities said it might not have been as difficult as one might expect due to the materials the bridge is made of.

"The bridge is almost all polymer I'm told and really just connected by some bolts, so if you have any equipment, sockets or anything of that nature, it wouldn't have been very difficult at all to start the process of disassembling that," Miller said.

Despite being worth over $40,000, authorities don't think that it'll be worth much on the scrap market.

"Someone that might mistakenly think there is a particular scrapping value of that particular material. Maybe they are mistaken and now they're stuck with, 'well, what do we do with it?'" Miller joked. "It went beyond impulsive."

The leading theory that investigators are looking into is that the theft began on November 3. According to them, the thieves began clearing nearby brush and disassembling deck boards. Officials supposedly came to the park where it was stored that week, only to find the deck boards removed.

When they returned the following week, the entire structure was gone. If accurate, the decision to steal the bridge in phases could have been done in order to not seem suspicious.

"Someone in the viewing area has access to some information that we need and this is the 'whodunit' where we really need the community's help to point us in the right direction to find the people responsible for removing that bridge," Miller said.

Police are hoping someone in the community can lead them to the span and the culprits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stock image of police lights
Akron, Ohio, police are searching for suspects in the theft of a 58-foot pedestrian bridge stored at an Akron field, previously at nearby Middlebury Run Park, near Goodyear's world headquarters, that was reported missing on November 11.