Magpies are notorious thieves.
"The policemen had been looking out for pickpockets and car thieves when their concentration was rudely interrupted by a mobile phone that fell from the sky with a loud crash," police in the western German town of Neuss said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The startled officers quickly realized what had happened when they saw a large bird fly off vigorously flapping its wings."
Police said the mobile phone didn't work and that the bird must have owned it for some time because it was soaked through and covered in ice.
The efficient policemen set about noting down the phone's particulars in order to register it as a lost item. It was then that the magpie returned to retrieve its beloved piece of electronic equipment.
"The animal appeared unwilling to accept that it had lost its loot," the statement said. "Even as the officers were writing down the lost item, the bird was desperately looking for it on top of and next to parked cars."
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