The theft took twenty years to complete, boasted Roger Elliot (54), who smuggled huge quantities of sand in various bodily crevices. The police were alerted to the crime, when someone noticed that Southend on Sea had relocated to Battersea.
After his capture, Mr. Elliott admitted that the first bucket load was stolen in error. 'By the time I'd shaken out my socks and pockets, I realised that most of the beach was still with me. That gave me the idea. And I soon discovered that my ears could hold three cubic tonnes of sand - per hole.'
His audacious plan involved sitting on the beach for less than five seconds. Yet in that time every conceivable item of of clothing or body part was rammed with sand. One scientist explained: 'The are more stars in the galaxy than grains of sand in your pants. But not by much.'