A fox has been unmasked as the mystery thief of more than 100 shoes in the small western German town of Foehren, authorities said on Friday.
A forest worker stumbled upon shoes strewn near the fox's den and found a trove of footwear down the hole which had recently been stolen overnight from outside locals' front doors.
"There was everything from ladies' shoes to trainers," said a local police spokesman. "We've found between 110 and 120 so far. It seems a vixen stole them for her cubs to play with."
Although many were missing laces, the shoes were in good condition and their owners were delighted to reclaim them, he said, adding that no reprisals were planned against the culprit.