Stolen tools, sign delays restoration work on Spencerville Covered Bridge

Local News

SPENCERVILLE, Ind. (WANE) — A trailer containing nearly $25,000 worth of tools needed to finish the restoration for the Spencerville Covered Bridge was stolen early Friday.

When the construction crew arrived for work, they noticed the trailer was missing. According to the superintendent of the bridge, the materials that were in the trailer were tools specifically for the bridge, and the new plaque for the bridge.

“The sign for the bridge would be nice to have back so we won’t have to replace that,” said Steve Lang, the superintendent for the Spencerville Covered Bridge. “The tools and stuff like that, lot of them were my personal tools that I brought in to do this job, it would be nice to have my tools back. The company is taking a big hit on this.”

“This is an icon of DeKalb County,” said Sheriff David Cserep. “The bridge is one of the things that people come to. We have festivals here, we have weddings here, it’s been an icon for a very long time. It’s disturbing that that somebody would come and disrupt that process here. We are going to have to get a new historical plaque now.

R.G. Zachrich Construction out of Defiance, Ohio, started the project Jan. 4 and worked during the colder months with the goal of completing the project May 15. According to Lang, there has been a few set backs because of the winter and now with the materials being stolen, the project completion date will be delayed again.

“Lots of the lumber underneath rotted away and it was in pretty bad shape, so we worked through the winter as much as we could to get it done as quick as we could,” Lang said. “Every time we go down the road, we would find something else that was rotten, then we would have to order something and wait for it to get here. This is going to be another set back, but for only about another week.”

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department has opened an investigation. Sheriff Cserep told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that the theft happened around 3:30 am Friday morning.

Cserep said the bridge is monitored by video surveillance, and his investigators are studying it now. The sheriff declined to discuss the case any more than that.

A $500 award for information has been offered. Anyone who has any information is asked to call the DeKalb County Sheriff Office at 260-925-3365.

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