It takes nerves of steel to steal a bridge - GulfToday

It takes nerves of steel to steal a bridge

The psychology behind Epstein’s money

Burglars have stolen a fully functional 18-carat gold toilet from Britain's Blenheim Palace. AP

There are two types of thieves in this world. There are those who steal your everyday belongings like money, credit cards, laptops, televisions and mobile phones. We tend to lock these away in a safe location. But there are some valuables that seem not to elude a creative thief.

I really would like to emphasise the word valuables here because we tend to equate the term with money, jewellery and electronics. However, sometimes our valuables are sitting in plain sight and, rather than being broken into or used without our permission, they are taken in their entirety and this is when we get into the realms of a bizarro world where nothing appears to be off-limits or beyond these thieves’ capabilities or brazenness.

For example, I’m sure you all heard that last week Britain’s Blenheim Palace was broken into and a gold toilet worth 27.3 million dirhams was stolen. How they were able to break in without being caught by security is baffling. But a more pertinent question Britons might be asking is ‘who has a gold toilet worth 27.3 million dirhams just to relieve themselves? There are millions of homeless people on the streets. Children often go to school without breakfast because their parents can’t afford to feed them. Government cutbacks has meant fewer police on the streets monitoring crime and fewer teaching resources in schools. But what does it matter, I suppose, as long as there’s a gold toilet sitting idle in a palace?

However, gold isn’t the only metal being stolen. Its cousin silver is also very much in demand. But rather than steal jewellery, back in 2013 thieves had taken to stealing X-rays because the film is lined with silver. It didn’t really catch on though because thieves soon learned how expensive the silver extraction method was compared to the amount obtained from a single extraction so they weren’t worth taking.

I suppose you could liken the idea of stealing gold toilets and X-rays to dealing in scrap metals.

Speaking of stealing, did you know that when it comes to stealing steel based items, nothing is off-limits? Thieves will go to great lengths to steal anything made of steel even if it is humungous in size. They’ve dismantled a ski lift in Czechoslovakia, a 36-foot bridge and an historic train in the Ukraine and a 50-foot bridge in Pennsylvania, all for scrap metal. My only question is how they managed to dismantle a giant bridge without being noticed.

Even property that is anchored down to the ground isn’t immune to a determined thief. People have had their cabins on lakes stolen and some thieves have even managed to scale the back of a garden wall to steal a shed. One house owner came home to find his front lawns missing and another to find that a giant statue of ET had vanished. In fact, in the lawn robbery it turned out that the landscaper uprooted the wrong lawn by mistake and offered to replace it for free. ET was recovered in a lake when police thought they’d found a floating body.

Now you’d think that sand is common in the world, well at least it is for us in the UAE. But in some countries, where it is less common, the theft of actual sand is fairly rampant. In 2008 five hundred truckloads of sand were stolen from a beach to sell to various hotel beach resorts around the country.

Despite all this, this last theft is positively mind-blowing, no pun intended. When Albert Einstein died in 1955 he left instructions to his family that his body be cremated. However, the doctor who was in attendance at the time of his death, discreetly removed his brain in order to do some research on it. Years later Einstein’s brain was discovered in a beer storage can at the doctor’s residence.

So do we see right through the motives of the X-ray thief? Was Einstein’s brain thief out of his mind? Or was the steel steal a bridge too far? The only thing I’m sure of is that anything is up for grabs by thieves determined to steal.

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