A suspected fuel thief being tracked by a Wiltshire Police helicopter tried to avoid detection by on-board thermal imaging cameras by hiding in manure.
The 34-year-old Lithuanian man, from Ilford, Essex, was found "face-down in the dung" by officers with dogs after abandoning his van in Manton.
The search was launched on Wednesday night after a "suspicious van" with a tank and pumping equipment was spotted.
The man was arrested, cautioned and released without charge.
According to a police spokesperson, the suspect had been hot from running and was easily detected on thermal imaging cameras hiding in a manure heap at Red Barn Farm at Manton.
Officers examined the man's van and found a 1,000 litre tank and pumping equipment.
He was arrested on suspicion of going equipped to steal but has since been given a police caution.