Walker is cautioned for 'stealing twig from park'

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The Independent Online

At a time when rural police are complaining about serious undermanning, Devon detectives have displayed a novel way of utilising stretched resources.

While strolling in Stover Country Park, near Newton Abbot, Laura Bailey threw a stick for her dog, Bramble. Afterwards she was seen by a park warden putting the stick in her car and driving away.

The excited warden called the police, who tracked down Mrs Bailey's car and turned up at her husband's workplace. Nick Bailey said: "They told my staff a person driving that car had committed a criminal offence. I spoke to the officer ... and he told me to take the stick back or they would consider pressing charges."

Mr and Mrs Bailey returned the stick to the park. A ranger there, who refused to be named, said: "I called the police because I thought the woman was making a run for it." A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said: "[This] should be a reminder to people that they need to seek permission before taking things."