The comment will follow later, but the fact is the police have let go the two men they arrested after a Horrabridge posse stopped them apparently preparing to take lead from a roofer’s garden.

The suspects, apparently Romanian but giving addresses in Birmingham, were trapped in New Park yesterday morning after mums on the school run blocked them in and surrounded them.

Feelings were high but the police arrived in force in five minutes and took the men into custody in Plymouth.

This morning, however, the police press office said the men had been cautioned and released.

This was later amended to the following statement: “A 31-year-old man was arrested and later released under investigation, pending further inquiries. A 28-year-old man was also arrested and given a police caution in connection with this matter.”

It is still not clear when they were let go and if they were given their van back.

A police spokeswoman said: “We would not give out that level of detail.”

The BBC has been interviewing in the village and may have a report in tonight’s regional news programme.

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