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Foxes blamed for chewing through your brake cables

PUBLISHED: 17:02 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 August 2010

POLICE investigating criminal damage to cars say it has been caused by the most cunning of culprits - the common fox. West Wickham residents have complained to their Safer Neighbourhood Team over the last eight months that brake pipes on their vehicles h

POLICE investigating criminal damage to cars say it has been caused by the most cunning of culprits - the common fox.

West Wickham residents have complained to their Safer Neighbourhood Team over the last eight months that brake pipes on their vehicles have been cut. But police investigating the damage caused to nine cars parked in Wood Lodge Lane, Stambourne Way and Woodland Way, found after forensic examinations and CCTV from the area that the vandals are of the four legged variety. The mystery was solved with the help of the an expert in Biological Science at Bristol University, Professor Stephen Harris.

The mammal expert said: "Foxes chew a wide range of objects - rubber and other balls, cables, garden hoses, shoes, gloves and pipes under houses when they can gain access through a broken airbrick. They occasionally also chew brake cables; sometimes this is simply part of their usual behaviour of chewing objects, particularly those made of rubber, plastic or leather. However, it appears that they also occasionally develop a taste for brake fluids. There is no doubt that the damage in these cases is the work of animals, not people, and the damage is entirely consistent with this being due to foxes."

Sergeant George Blair, head of the West Wickham Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "This series of incidents was quite understandably causing anxiety to people living in the area and we are pleased to be able to find an innocent explanation for the cause of the damage. However damage like this can lead to a potentially dangerous situation, so I continue to advise residents to safety check their brakes by applying them before moving off."

According to www.thefoxwebsite.org, chewing cables is often the work of cubs and humane deterrents can be obtained from garden centre which should be place on or near the car.

For more information, go to http://www.thefoxwebsite.org.

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