In an act of great audacity, a bunch of thieves have stolen a whole bridge in one night. And they are not the only criminals with big targets

Are you in the market for a 22-tonne bridge? Is there an 82ft gap that you're aching to span? If so, and assuming you like to play fast and loose with the law, you might want to get over to the Kocaeli province of Turkey where, earlier this month, audacious thieves stole an entire bridge overnight. It's thought the miscreants intended to sell it for scrap metal; now villagers wanting to reach their orchards have to paddle across barefooted.

It's not the first time thieves have displayed such ambition. Earlier this year half a bridge in India was stolen over the course of three days – the 40 thieves involved told a guard they had been contracted by the public works department, and blithely set up their cranes. Last year, in the Czech Republic, a 10-tonne railway bridge was stolen by a gang who pretended to be making way for a nifty new cycle route.

But the use of forged paperwork is somehow less impressive than making an enormous entity disappear in a blink. Full marks for this must go to thieves who flummoxed Jamaican police in 2008 by stealing an entire beach – making off with 500 truckloads of sand, and vanishing without trace. © Guardian News and Media 2013