- Concerned officers rush to market town after ‘limbs’ spotted in recycling bin
Police stormed a quiet market town after locals reported body parts hanging out of a wheelie bin – only to discover the limbs were realistic fakes put out by a prankster.
Officers rushed to a side road of Northgate Street in Devizes, 17 miles south-west of Swindon, at around 4.30pm on Tuesday September 12.
Wiltshire Police had received a call from a concerned member of the public about the seemingly mutilated limbs sitting in a council bin.
Officers in high-visibility vests arrived and began to search bins and bin sheds in the street, fearing the worst.
But as they searched a resident flagged them down to explain it was a prank that got ‘out of hand’.
The body parts as they would have looked – sitting askew in a bin labelled ‘recycle for Wiltshire’.
Officers from Wiltshire Police were called to investigate in Devizes after receiving a call from a concerned member of the public
They are said to have searched a number of bins and bin sheds before the prankster came clean and admitted the limbs were fake
The admittedly realistic body parts included a pale, bruised hand, and two feet that have seen better days
He pulled the imitation body parts out of the bin – labelled ‘recycle for Wiltshire’ – and explained that they weren’t real.
The body parts had been placed in the bin as a practical joke he was playing on his neighbours.
Officers inspected the fake hand, which was pale and ‘bruised’, and two reddened feet, which looked diseased.
They confirmed the appendages weren’t real before leaving the scene.
Following the incident, the man said: ‘I put them in our neighbour’s bin, sticking out. They’re very good limbs, they do look lifelike.
‘I’ve put them in a bag so they can’t be seen now. It’s just a practical joke that’s got out of hand’.
Wiltshire Council’s website says its blue-lidded recycling bins are for paper and cardboard, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, tins, cans, empty aerosols and clean foil as well as mixed-material cartons.
Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t have a policy on what to do with dismembered body parts, real or otherwise – but does say ‘hazardous clinical waste’ should be disposed of responsibly using its clinical waste service.
A Wiltshire Police spokesperson said: ‘We were called by a member of the public, at about 4.30pm yesterday (12/09) reporting parts of a mannequin in a bin outside a residential property in St Joseph’s Place, Devizes.
‘The caller wanted to highlight it as a precaution. Our officers attended and confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances.’
The practical joke is more harmless than others recently in the news – including one involving a young mother bombarded with phone calls from people pretending to be Chewbacca after her number was written on posters put up in Australia.
It’s also a busy time for police in Devizes, where an ice cream man was arrested for allegedly being over the drink drive limit last week after officers spotted that he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt.
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