Archive for theft

Let’s Steal a Beach, No Wait, a 200 ton Bridge!

Posted in Rotten with tags on June 11, 2008 by davehurwitz

Imagine you are visiting Hungary (not too far fetched). You check the map and see that the country is landlocked. No swimming for you. But the clever entrepreneurs in Hungary had a solution. The climate is sunny and warm in the summer. The river Mindszentas runs through the country. Its banks are sunny and warm in the summer, perfect beach weather. The only thing missing was the beach. Some enterprising Hungarians shipped in 6,000 cubic meters of sand, added lounge chairs, playground rides, and beach huts. A great idea. The Hungarian people should be applauded for their cleverness.

Now, because this Hungary, the winters are frigid. To protect their sandy treasure, In September, the owners covered the rides with tarpaulin and closed the place for the season. When one of the owners drove by, they noticed the beach was gone. Only dreary muddy banks left behind.

Authorities blame the new Schengen Zone which eliminated border controls between EU member state and Europe. This allows people to move freely between countries without a passport.

My question: How do you steal a beach without anyone noticing? You’d need a fleet of dumptrucks ala Die Hard with a Vengeance. We’re talking 6,000 cu meters of sand. That’s unreal. A super sized dump truck will carry 10 cubic yards of material. Doing the math, that means it would take, roughly, 780 dump trucks to move all that sand. 780! How do you NOT notice that? Obviously no one has 780 dump trucks, so it must have taken days to move the beach. It baffles me.

Now, our second theft is a little more plausible, but only a slightly. The price of scrap metal has apparently skyrocketed in Europe. So much so that thieves will strip churches of their roofs just for some extra scrap. In the town of Khabarovsk in eastern Russia, crooks have made the ultimate heist. During Friday night they dismantled and made off with a 200 ton bridge.

Workers arrived on Saturday to find a gaping hole where the steel plated bridge used to be. This was the only direct route to a thermal power station over a river. “The total loss sustained to the bridge-owner by the theft is estimated at 400,000 rubles ($16,000). However, repair works will cost the energy company over a million rubles ($40,500),” the spokesman said.

Their solution, make it out of reinforced concrete this time. However, if thieves can steal 200 tons of steel in one night, why should concrete pose a problem? Maybe they could recruit the Hungarian thieves and steel the river and thermal power plant this time. Honestly, what’s the limit?

Chris Kalidor