Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 15:31 UK

Garden fox blamed for 'burglary'

Clare Brook explains how a vixen brings home "stolen" goods

A family in Bristol have been stunned to find a fox in their garden which regularly brings in "stolen" goods including a wallet and driving licence.

Clare Brook found the vixen had also brought a cuddly toy, two shoes and three pairs of brand new gardening gloves to her Redland home.

"From the driving licence I could trace its owner who thought she had been burgled a week before," she said.

The vixen was also rearing five cubs under her garden shed, she added.

Mrs Brook first noticed the animal several months ago lying in the middle of her garden lawn. Then, a week later, she saw the vixen with five cubs in a flower bed. Each time one strayed they were chased back to a spot under a garden shed, she said.

She then noticed the animal's talent for "stealing" goods.

'Not shy'

Mrs Brook said: "My daughter watched the female chewing something at the end of the garden.

"She walked over and came back with a leather wallet in her hand. The wallet still had money in it and an untouched credit card.

"From the driving licence I could trace its owner. Apparently she had been 'burgled' a week before, and was confused that the thief had only taken a wallet, but left her iPod and phone where they were.

"The other night I filmed the fox, who's not at all shy, actually climbing through the kitchen window and into the sink," she added.

Mrs Brook, a natural history filmmaker, added: "I have given her the odd titbit of food and she's tame enough to take them off my hand but she hasn't stolen anything of mine that I'm aware of.

"Now I not only look forward to seeing the ever bigger and bolder cubs charging around the garden at night but also to scanning the garden to see what pickings the nightly raids may have brought."

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