Fuel theft suspect hid in manure from police helicopter

Wiltshire Police helicopter
Image caption The suspect was found hiding in a manure heap by the police helicopter's thermal imaging camera

A suspected fuel thief being tracked by a Wiltshire Police helicopter tried to avoid detection by on-board thermal imaging cameras by hiding in manure.

The 34-year-old Lithuanian man, from Ilford, Essex, was found "face-down in the dung" by officers with dogs after abandoning his van in Manton.

The search was launched on Wednesday night after a "suspicious van" with a tank and pumping equipment was spotted.

The man was arrested, cautioned and released without charge.

According to a police spokesperson, the suspect had been hot from running and was easily detected on thermal imaging cameras hiding in a manure heap at Red Barn Farm at Manton.

Officers examined the man's van and found a 1,000 litre tank and pumping equipment.

He was arrested on suspicion of going equipped to steal but has since been given a police caution.

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