In August 2015, Northamptonshire Police issued an online appeal for information relating to a burglary at Winwick Hall, near Northampton. According to the message, the crime occurred in June of the same year and items stolen from the manor house included “a taxidermied sheep and a wicker chair in the shape of an elephant.”
Strange Items Stolen
Hotels are a common target for petty criminals and many establishments regularly have toiletries, towels and bed linen stolen, while some opportunistic guests even manage to steal larger items, including television sets. However, a hotel in Bath called The Residence reported that sex toys were among its most common items stolen.
Police stations, meanwhile, may seem like less obvious targets, but they also deal with frequent thefts, with some criminals managing to steal weapons, cars and other items of high value. With that said, Priory Road Police Station was the scene of a slightly stranger theft in June 2010, when a packet of six Sunblest crumpets was swiped.
A year earlier, both Cornwall and Devon Police recorded thefts of copies of Nuts Magazine, in separate incidents.
Unfortunately, some unusual thefts are more sinister in nature. In 2012, Surrey Police were called after a teenager, Sam Edwards, was found to be selling micro-piglets from his garden shed. The tiny animals, worth around £700 each, had been stolen from a pig breeder after she had advertised them. Edwards was later jailed for 28 months.
Unusual Police Raids
Police raids often turn up a variety of strange and peculiar items and Surelock (Global Investigators and Security Consultants) have reported on several unusual items turning up in raids they have been involved with. These include “One Erection” condoms, fancy dress character heads of a well-known bear and stash lighters for storing drugs. The Metropolitan Police force also recently reported on unusual animal-related thefts it had been asked to investigate, including the loss of 39,000 bees, acrobatic pigeons, a bag of mosquitos and a cockatiel with one-and-a-half legs.
One more alarming trend has been the rise of illegal wildlife products finding their way into Britain’s marketplace. Items which have turned up in raids have included rhino horns, elephant tusks and even lion skulls. In July 2014, Metropolitan Police issued a plea for Londoners to hand in any such items to their local police station, in a bid to raise awareness and help tackle the problem. The campaign was publicly supported by comedian Ricky Gervais.
From the Grim to the Bizarre
Finally, in July 2015, Greater Manchester Police were called to the city’s Bridgewater Canal, where a member of the public had apparently made a rather grim discovery. While walking along the canal, the man encountered what he believed to be a dead body floating in the water, wrapped in cloth or some other similar material. Taking control of the situation, the man decided to drag the suspected corpse to dry land, before calling the police. Manchester’s canal system has previously been the scene of a high number of fatal accidents and incidents, and investigators were quick to respond and arrive at the scene, fearing the worst.
However, the discovery ended up being somewhat less dramatic than was initially feared. In fact, the ‘dead body’ turned out to be nothing more than a duvet filled with coconuts. Of course, the question of why someone decided to dump a coconut-filled duvet in the canal remains anyone’s guess.