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Theft probe police use Google image

Police investigating the theft of a caravan have issued a picture of a man seen on Google Street View at the scene of the crime.

Derbyshire Police said the caravan's owner believed the Google image may have been taken shortly before the vehicle was taken from outside his home in June 2009.

The snapshot shows an unknown man standing beside a 4x4 parked on the victim's drive in Linton, south Derbyshire, just yards away from the caravan.

Unfortunately for officers, when the homeowner spotted the startling image in March this year, the 4x4's registration plate had been obscured.

The white Abbey Adventura caravan was stolen from Cauldwell Road, Linton, between 9.30am and 2pm on June 5 last year.

Immediately after the theft occurred, there was little evidence to help the police inquiry and the caravan was not traced despite a forensic examination of the wheel clamps that had been securing it.

Pc Adrian Mason, who is investigating the offence, said the victim had not recognised the man or the vehicle seen on Street View.

The officer said: "It is amazing that we have such a clear image of a man who we think will be able to give us information that would help the police inquiry.

"It was an amazing coincidence that the Google Earth car was passing at that time.

"I've made extensive enquiries since the image was discovered but because the registration plate of the 4x4 is blanked out we have been unable to trace the man through his car."

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