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'Human toe' that sparked large-scale police response turns out to be a potato
8 January 2021, 12:11
A large-scale police response was launched after reports of a human toe found buried in a field, but it turned out to be a potato with a mushroom growing next to it.
A female dog walker took a photo of what she thought was a toe buried in a muddy field in Winlaton, Gateshead, on Tuesday and sent it to police to investigate.
Northumbria Police sent in officers and police sniffer dogs to look for suspected human remains.
But police said officers had a "chuckle when they realised it was no more than a vegetable".
The force said: "Eventually, officers tracked down the 'scene' only to discover the toe was in fact a potato with a mushroom growing next to it."
Looks like a pota-toe! 🦶🥔 A phone call about suspected human remains sparked a large-scale police response – only for...Posted by Northumbria Police on Friday, January 8, 2021
Inspector Phil Hamlani said the call was "made in good faith" and he encouraged others to report anything suspicious.
He said: "The person who called this in was very concerned, and in the picture she sent to us the object did look like it could be human remains.
"It was already dark by the time we got a call and so we had to deploy search teams to track down the scene to rule out any foul play.
"The search team did have a chuckle when they realised it was a potato but the call was made in good faith and we can only praise the vigilance of the woman who made the call.
"If anyone does come across suspected human remains, please do the same and give us a call.
"If it does turn out to be a vegetable, our police dogs will thank you for the treat!"