Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Precious gems. Classic artwork. Napoleon's penis?! Some thieves have more...offbeat targets for their heists. These are twenty of the weirdest things ever stolen. #20. A Giant Inflatable Cow The Chick-Fil-A in Tempe, Arizona had an eye-catching way of getting people to pull into their roadside location for chicken sandwiches - a massive twenty-four-foot tall inflatable cow that weighed over three hundred pounds. The cow became a local attraction, and was brought to Arizona State University as a mascot for a football game. And then...it vanished. Someone had stolen it, but the kind of person who steals a giant inflatable cow might not be the brightest. A reward was offered, and the cow was quickly sighted in someone's backyard. While the culprit claimed to have bought it at a garage sale, the police weren't buying it. The cow was soon back in its usual place, and the eagle-eyed do-gooder cashed in his reward from Chick-Fil-A - a year of free chicken sandwiches. This next thief was ice cold. #19. A Glacier The world's glaciers are disappearing fast due to the changing climate, but when one Patagonian glacier started shrinking, it wasn't the environment. When the Jorge Montt glacier in Chile was missing chunks of ice, police didn't have a lead - until they stopped a truck with suspicious cargo. It contained tons of ice from the glacier - and they were bound for Santiago, Chile's capital, where they would be sold as designer ice for drinks. The environmentally unsound entrepreneur was charged with theft - and faced charges of defacing a national monument. Speaking of environmental changes, this next landscape heist had an unusual explanation. #18. A Lawn A woman in Alberta, Canada had gone away on a vacation, but when she returned to her home near Calgary, she was shocked by the sight. Her carefully tended lawn was now little more than a pile of exposed dirt! Who - and why - would someone steal an entire lawn? After a police investigation, the thief came forward - and it turned out to be a big misunderstanding. The lawn thief was a local landscaper who had been hired to uproot and replace someone's lawn - and went to the wrong address. An offer of a free lawn replacement brought the case of the lawn on the lam to a peaceful end. This next heist was for the birds. #17. Rare Feathers Edwin Rist seemed to have a bright future ahead of him, being a prodigy in playing the flute. But the young man also had a dark obsession - with rare birds - and one day he saw an opportunity. He visited the small Museum of Natural History in Tring, England, and pulled off a heist of almost three hundred preserved bird skins. Stripping the feathers off, he tried to sell them on the black market - including as decorations for fish lures. He was eventually caught and fined $160,000, although he did stay out of prison, and more than a hundred of the specimens were never recovered. The next heist is brought to you by alcohol and bad decisions. #16. A Live Penguin Three Welsh tourists were having the time of their life in Australia, and that included a visit to Sea World. But they had a few too many to drink, and they decided it would be a good idea to visit the park at night - once it was closed. After breaking in and going for a swim with the dolphins, two of them came across a fairy penguin - and decided it would be a great pet. The next morning, it seemed like a much less appealing idea when they woke up with the penguin waddling around their hotel room. They decided to release Dirk into a local canal. The very confused penguin was returned home, and the two birdbrains had to explain themselves to a judge who fined them $1000 each, while their companion faced trespassing charges. This next thief took his sweet tooth to unhealthy lengths. #15. A LOT of Ice Cream It was 2017 when Tokyo was hit by a series of thefts targeting homes and offices. But in all of them, only one thing was taken - ice cream, chocolate, cakes, and other sweets. The thief was obviously not a professional, and left evidence of himself both on video cameras - and in the crumbs he left behind from his criminal snack attacks. Eventually, Yasuhiro Wakashima was caught for a crime spree that caused nearly $50,000 in losses - a series of crimes that earned him the nickname “Sugar”. The only other item he ever stole? A pair of sandals. Hey, comfortable footwear is nice after a snack binge. These next heists may not have been very valuable - but they were dangerous. #14. Manholes It was 1990 in Los Angeles when manholes started going missing around the city. Not only was this a crime, but it could easily cause a fatal accident for a driver or cyclist. As the manhole thefts swept through the city, investigators eventually tracked the culprits to a scrap metal yard. Only a small percentage of the missing manholes were ever found, but the two thieves apparently wanted to sell them for scrap. Given that they were only worth three cents per pound, this may not have been the smartest heist on the list. Stealing commodities is pretty common - but this next heist angered all of Wisconsin. #13. 20,000 Pounds of Cheese Wisconsin loves its cheese, as anyone who has ever gone to a football game there knows. And the creamy dairy product is one of their top exports. But one trucker was in for an unpleasant surprise in 2017 when he checked into a service station. He detached his trailer and stored it in a local facility - and when he picked it up, it was missing $46,000 worth of his creamy cargo. While the cheese was never located, investigators researched it, and believe there might be an organized cheese heist ring. Lock up your cheddar. This next thief put a lot of effort into...nothing. #12. A Random Pair of Shoes Most of the weirdest heists are for strange items. But a Nanaimo, British Columbia man was obsessed with a very mundane target. He cased a building belonging to a charity organization serving children with Autism and Down Syndrome. Using a long stick, he poked inside the door until he reached his target - the shoes belonging to a random child who attended classes at the facility. He then pulled the shoes out the door and ran off, leaving the staff and police wondering who the culprit was - and why he was so obsessed with stealing a kid's shoes. He wasn't the only Canadian who wasn't above stealing from children. #11. A Playground Slide Suncrest Elementary School was looking forward to opening its doors to students again in September 2020, but one feature was going to be missing. Their elaborate play structure usually led to an exciting slide that kids loved to go down - but anyone trying it now would get a much faster freefall. Someone had used tools to disconnect the entire slide and apparently take it away whole, leaving the rest of the play structure intact. There are currently no leads, and school officials admit it may have taken them three weeks before anyone even noticed it was gone from the closed playground. But some thieves had their eyes on an entire building. #10. A Russian Church The village of Komarovo was a poor and crime-ridden area, and its local church had fallen into disrepair. It hadn't been used for a long time when a crew started working there, but after a few weeks it became clear that the goal wasn't to repair the dilapidated building. In fact, by the time an investigation began, there was nothing left of the church but a few walls and the heavy foundation. Investigators believe the thieves likely pawned the raw materials and religious artifacts, but if any of them are religious, the odds are they're looking nervously at the sky every time they hear thunder. The business of building theft is growing - unfortunately for the owners. #9. A Cabin Chris Hemple owned a cabin by the lake, and was looking forward to returning to the Spokane getaway. But she was in for an unpleasant surprise in 2015 - someone had managed to cut away the entire building from the foundation and drive away with it. It was an impressive feat of theft - but getting away with something isn't the same as keeping it. Police combed the mountainous Washington area and located the cabin - on someone else's property less than ten miles away. The crook was headed for jail, and the Hempel Hideaway was headed home. This next case was as interesting for what wasn't taken as for what was. #8. A Garden Shed Maurice Byrne was taking care of his late mother's home in North Wales when he noticed something shocking - the garden shed was gone. This wasn't a small building - it was six by eight feet, and witnesses said that several men managed to carry it out whole. But it wasn't as heavy as it could have been - the shed had been emptied of all its belongings, including tools, furniture, and even a valuable electric mower. Whoever wanted the shed, they only wanted the shed, and “politely” left everything behind - and left the sixty-four-year-old Welshman completely puzzled. Up next, why go through the bother of robbing a train when you can literally rob a train? #7. A Train There have been plenty of train robberies before, but rarely was the actual train ever taken. But in Ukraine, a historic steam locomotive found itself going for a ride from its museum. The train wasn't functional anymore, so police believe the thieves forged documents and used a crane to haul it away before hitching it to another train to its final destination - a scrap metal yard. It was an unfortunate end for the historic locomotive - it was found already in pieces at the scrap yard, and the culprits have never been caught. Cabins, sheds, trains… that's small time compared to the massive structure the next thieves stole. #6. Bridges - More Than Once! The Covert's Crossing Bridge in rural Lawrence County wasn't used all that often, only as a shortcut by some local businesses. But it was still noticed pretty quickly when it suddenly went missing in 2011, leaving a fifty-foot gap. It turned out that two local men, the Jones brothers, had used a blowtorch to break down the bridge and haul away the metal - worth an estimated $100,000. But that amount of metal isn't easy to hide, and the two crooks were quickly found. Maybe they were fans of international news - seven years earlier in Ukraine, a thirty-six foot bridge was stolen and left several villages stranded on opposite sides of a river. This next heist was wildly valuable - but maybe not for the squeamish. #5. Tanks of Bull Semen In the cattle industry, few things are more prized than the, um, payload of genetically ideal bulls. Bull semen can go for a lot of money, and one trucker in Turlock, California was transporting tanks to a farm where it would be used for breeding purposes in 2016. But along the way, three tanks and a transfer tank disappeared from the back of his truck - leading people to wonder - is there a bull semen black market? If there is, the thieves should be careful - the cargo needs to be stored with liquid nitrogen to keep it in peak condition, or they might wind up with tanks of useless goo. And speaking of very personal heists… #4. Napoleon's Penis When the infamous French emperor died in exile in 1821, the person performing his autopsy took a very unique souvenir. He apparently cut off the emperor's penis and passed it off to a Corsican priest. Of course, body parts need to be preserved to be kept for a long time, and after a few years the memento started to look more like a piece of oddly shaped beef jerky. But that didn't stop it from being passed around for several centuries, until it was bought by a urologist in 1977 and passed on to his daughter after his death. She's now the legal honor of a, um, piece of history, and has been offered over $100,000 for it. But it's not the most famous body part to be stolen. #3. Einstein's Brain There's no question that Albert Einstein was one of the smartest men to ever live, and after his death in 1955, scientists hoped to learn more about what made him tick. But one pathologist took that scientific curiosity a little too far. Thomas Harvey, who was on call when Einstein died, believed it was better to ask forgiveness than permission and removed Einstein's brain from his body without the family's permission. He spent years examining the brain of a genius and found...no conclusive evidence of what made him a genius. Whatever the secrets of Einstein's brain were, he had taken them with him when he died. The brain was eventually turned over to researchers after Harvey was exposed in 1978. This next thief pulled off a heist from one of the smartest places on earth - but he was no genius. #2. A NASA Rocket Engine NASA's earliest rockets may be well past their flying days, but they're still a part of history. That makes them valuable for museums - and a tempting target for thieves. When a Saturn RL-10 rocket engine went missing from NASA's base, the staff suspected an internal theft but had no leads - until a listing for the engine appeared online. The thief was attempting to sell it on an online auction site, and was quickly caught. A piece of history was rescued, and NASA believes the rocket engine could have been worth as much as $200,000. But this next heist will make you ask...how? #1. A Whole Beach The Coral Springs beach in Trelawny, Jamaica was going to be the centerpiece of a massive new resort - with its stunning white sands contrasting nicely with crystal clear blue waters. But as construction continued, something weird happened - the sand started to vanish. In July 2008, the beach suddenly became bare, with over five hundred truckloads of sand being mysteriously spirited away. And the police had no leads. They did have one main suspect - rival resorts who wanted to put the new competition out of business.