A man was caught on CCTV by an Indian restaurant’s security cameras – stealing their giant, inflatable cricket ball.
CCTV cameras captured the lone suspect cutting the two-metre wide ball loose from its position above one of the curry house’s rickshaws during the night – before rolling it down the street.
The man then dragged the red ball down a side road next to the popular restaurant, The Bombay Central, in Harrow, north west London.
Restaurant director Rishi Lakhani, 34, paid more than £1,000 to install the ball to bring a sense of “energy” to the restaurant during the Cricket World Cup.
He said: “I was in Birmingham watching England vs India when one of my staff called me to tell me the ball had been taken.
‘No logic to it’
“At first I thought it was a prank. Then I was really angry and annoyed.
“I don’t know why anybody would do this. It has been outside the restaurant since the start of the World Cup on May 30. So it’s pretty dirty.
“It’s too big to fit through a door and nobody would buy it. There’s no logic to it.”
Police are now investigating the incident which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“It even became a mini tourist attraction in the neighbourhood.”
Mr Lakhani said there has been a great community response since the ball was stolen.
He added: “We have 30 staff at the restaurant and we all went out as a search party to find the ball.
“We have knocked on doors and everybody has been keeping an eye out for it. It shows real perseverance and strength in the community.
“The ball is huge. It’s so obvious and the person who took it walked away with it, so it can’t be far away.
“I just don’t know why anybody would do this.”
The restaurant is offering a free family meal for four in return for information which helps them locate the cricket ball.