When wheelie bins began to go missing from outside their homes, residents wondered whether they should call the police.
But when the thieves were unmasked, their identities proved to be something a shock.
The two men responsible were council officers assigned to secretly snoop in back gardens.
They were employed to find out which residents were using extra 'unauthorised' wheelie bins to dispose of their rubbish – and took those bins away if they considered them to be unlawful.
Since it's the council that hands out the bins in the first place, you'd think they had enough already, wouldn't you?
But there is method in their madness.
It insists its policy of one rubbish bin per household will cut landfill costs and boost recycling.Councillor Alan Cottam, of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition-led council, said: 'The council has recently been carrying out checks to see how many unauthorised bins are in the borough.
And why would they want to reduce landfill and increase recycling? We've no shortage of holes inhhte ground in this country, after all. Well, that would be the European Union's rules insisting that we must in fact reduce our landfilling and increase recycling.
No one's ever given a decent reason why we should have to do this other than we've been told to do so.
But at least if anyone ever asks you what the EU has done for us now you can tell them. They've made our local councils spend our council tax on peeping toms to see how many rubbish bins we have.
Well worth all those billions we pay to get that result, isn't it?