Stolen stop signs and streets signs are occurrences authorities deal with regularly; a stolen bridge, however, is a predicament considerably less commonly encountered.
Such is the case Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen is currently working on. According to the Journal Courier, the absence of the Kane Township, Ill. bridge was first noted about three weeks ago. The problem was reported to road officials, who passed the report on to McMillen.
McMillen, who believes that the bridge was stolen in March, noted that “to go to the extent of taking a bridge from a road…you don’t see that happen.”
The wood and iron bridge was, before its disappearance, used infrequently and only when a handful of farmers needed to gain access to their property.
According to The Telegraph, authorities believe that the 20-foot-long, 10-foot-wide bridge was removed intact.
Last week, McMillen noticed a large pile of iron in a yard about eight miles from the spot where the bridge was last seen. Although the “heavy duty” pieces of iron appeared to be from a bridge similar to the missing bridge, McMillen did not yet have enough evidence to conclusively state that the dismantled bridge was the one he was searching for.
The owner of the yard where the iron was discovered has denied that the iron comes from the missing bridge.
Because township bridges are government-owned, stealing a bridge is a felony.
“It is kind of a bizarre case,” said McMillen, who hopes to have the case wrapped up this week, “but nothing really surprises me anymore.”