Updated 05/11/2012 06:08 PM
Steel structure stolen from Syracuse bridge
A large steel structure needed to repair a Syracuse bridge was stolen over the weekend. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, police and the DOT think thieves are swiping items like this in hopes of cashing in big.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Thieves got away with a hunk of steel needed for repairs to the Bear Street Bridge over Onondaga Creek in Syracuse.
"It was going to be used in a bridge repair. The bridge is safe, the beam is being held up by block," said New York State Department of Transportation Region 3 Public Information Officer Gene Cilento.
But it will cost about $3,000 to remake the 280 pound structure called a bolster and it will push bridge repairs back.
It was no small feat removing the bolster from this bridge. It's large, cumbersome and heavy. So why go through all that trouble? Police seem to think that the thieves were out to get money from scrap metal dealers.
Similar crimes have been committed in New York City where manhole covers were stolen for the same reason. Scrap metal businesses say they try to keep a lid on illegally obtained items coming in.
"We have a log let's say if something did come up, the police were looking for something that was stolen we would have a record. We could look up a name, the type of material," said Empire Recycling General Manager Aaron Roth.
Roth also says if employees suspect an object is stolen, they won't take it and let's face it, something as obvious as a steel structure this big would raise a red flag and put a thief on law enforcement's radar, possible deterrents for would-be copy cats.
Syracuse Police are investigating the theft, but as of now, they have no leads.