Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • 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 nicknameSugar”.

  • 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, andpolitelyleft 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, trainsthat'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.