Thieves steal 10-ton bridge in Czech Republic

The crooks provided paperwork and did it right in front of police

Thieves in the Czech Republic are proving if you want to steal something big don't do it under the cloak of darkness, but rather in broad daylight right in front of police.

That's how they recently managed to steal a 10-ton bridge that was built in 1901 near the town of Sokolov in the country's west.

"Thieves said they had been hired to demolish the bridge, and remove the unwanted railway track to make way for a new cycle route," said railroad spokesman Pavel Halla in an Inquisitr article.

They used a crane to pick up the large pieces and put them into trucks.

At one point during the robbery, a police officer stopped the thieves, but they showed the officer paperwork stating an agreement with the country's railway service and continued working.

Not only did they take the bridge, but they made off with about 200 metres of railway track.

"It was only after they had gone that checks were made and we realized we'd been had. The cost of replacing the bridge will run into the millions," said Halla.

This is not the first bridge to be stolen in the Czech Republic. In 2008, thieves stole a four-ton railway bridge outside the city of Cheb.

And bridge stealing isn't just happening in the Czech Republic. Two brothers dismantled and made off with a 15-metre long bridge in western Pennsylvania, about 100 kilometres north of Pittsburgh. The brothers were caught when trying to sell the scrap for $5,000.

While nobody knows exactly why the Czech bridges were stolen, it is believed the thieves are also looking to profit from the scrap value.

(Getty Images photo of bridges in the Czech Republic, although not the one that was stolen)