Portsmouth police were on red alert in a desperate race against time to find a deadly poison – before it killed.
A major hunt was launched to recover a stolen bike which contained half a pound of lethal poison.
The gent’s black Raleigh cycle, belonging to a city council pest control officer, was taken in Angerstein Road, North End.’
In one of the panniers on the rear of the bike was a plastic container holding half a pound of zinc phosphide mixed with oatmeal.
A spokesman for the city’s environmental health department described the substance as an ‘acute poison’ used by pest control officers when other poisons were found ineffective.
He added: ‘It’s like leaving a carving knife on the table. If someone runs away with it, you never know what it’s going to be used for.’