World Cup topiary footballer stolen in Aylesbury

Image caption, The hedge had grown for six months before being cut into shape

A topiary footballer has been stolen within hours of it being placed on a roundabout in Buckinghamshire to commemorate the World Cup.

The foliage had been placed in a flowerbed designed to look like the England flag on Exchange Street roundabout in Aylesbury on Tuesday.

That night, two males were captured on CCTV carrying the hedge through a car park, the town council said.

Mayor Graham Webster said it was a "pointless act of vandalism".

"When the council has put so much effort into topiary and planting to improve the look of the town, it beggars belief that people want to damage it," he said.

"The council's hard-working team are trying to make the town a nicer place to live and visit, and this kind of act is not helpful in achieving this."

It is not known where the two people went after they were seen on camera in the HBOS car park and then the railway station car park at about 2315 BST.

The greenery had been growing for six months before it was installed, the council added.

Another topiary statue of a cyclist, put up to represent Cycle Aylesbury on the same roundabout, was not tampered with.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Thames Valley Police.

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