On Saturday morning the town ground to halt for hours as 60 firefighters, plus numerous police and specialist officers, closed off Tickford Street after a mystery white powder was found in the road.
Fearing the substance could be hazardous if touched or breathed in, fire crews donned breathing apparatus to hand out special ‘derobe packs’ to workers at nearby local businesses.
At the peak of the incident there were 15 fire crews, including some summoned from other counties, and the road was closed for several hours.
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Finally experts identified the white powder and discovered it to be … the harmless contents of multiple fire extinguishers.
Now police have discovered a number of fire extinguishers were stolen from the BP Garage in Tickford Street in the early hours of the same morning.
The theft happened at around 2.40am and a group of five boys are suspected to have been involved in this incident.
All aged between13 to 17-year-old, they were all wearing black trousers. One was riding an e-scooter and one was riding a bicycle.
Police believe the stolen fire extinguishers were then discharged in a number of locations in Newport Pagnell, leading to the major incident being declared.
Investigating officer PC Tom Record said: “This incident caused considerable concern amongst the local community. Residents finding an unknown liquid on their cars and within buildings understandably caused alarm and a significant response from emergency services was required, which later established that the liquid was not harmful.
He added: “We are now investigating the circumstances surrounding the theft of the fire extinguishers. Local PCSOs have spoken to shops and residents, but we are keen to hear from anyone else who may have CCTV or dashcam footage from the early hours of Saturday morning that may help us to identify those involved.
“You can get in touch with us using our online form or by calling 101, quoting reference number 43220337791. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously via their website or on 0800 555 111.”