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Woman mistakes stuffed toy for crook

world Updated: Jul 20, 2007 20:04 IST
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Armed police went into action in the German city of Wuppertal after a woman reported seeing a masked criminal -- but having rushed to the scene, they were surprised to find not a crook, but a large stuffed toy.

The woman was returning late at night to her car in an indoor car park when she saw the suspected brigand through the window of a parked van, police said on Thursday.

Though she later admitted to only catching a glimpse in the darkness, she was sufficiently alarmed to alert the authorities.

Armed officers arrived in three cars and surrounded the van. What they found was a large toy beaver, strapped into the passenger seat.

A police spokesman said he struggled to see how the toy, which has two oversized front teeth, could have been mistaken for a person.