Thieves stole on Monday an entire bridge apparently for its scrap metal in the western province of Kocaeli in a most unusual theft.

The 22-ton bridge, which was 25 meters long, was in a village in Kocaeli’s Gölçük district and was regularly used by villagers to cross a creek to reach their orchards. The villagers were astonished to discover the disappearance of the bridge on Monday morning as they were making their way to the orchards and immediately alerted the police.

Police arrived at the scene and found out that the bridge had been cut apart and loaded onto a truck by the thieves. They believe the bridge was stolen for scrap metal. Its worth was an estimated TL 20,000.

Mustafa Karaka?, one of the villagers, told the ?hlas news agency that he couldn’t understand how a bridge could be stolen, saying it is unbelievable.

“Now we have to take our socks off and cross the creek,” Karaka? said, adding that they will take legal action against the thieves.

Police have launched an investigation to capture the thieves.