Once upon a time it was fairies at the bottom of the garden you had to worry about - now it's more likely to be council approved burglars.
When wheelie bins began to go missing from outside their homes, residents wondered whether they should call the police.
But when the thieves were unmasked, their identities proved to be something a shock.
The two men responsible were council officers assigned to secretly snoop in back gardens.
They were employed to find out which residents were using extra 'unauthorised' wheelie bins to
dispose of their rubbish – and took those bins away if they considered them to be unlawful.
It's come to something when dustbins have to be "authorised", but you know your nation is on the slippery slope to totalitarianism when the local council employs snoopers to peer over garden walls and fences and to then enter your premises to remove property belonging to you.
All this happened in Blackburn. So which fascist, authoritarian party was it responsible? The BNP? The Socialist Workers Party maybe?
Councillor Alan Cottam, of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition-led council, said: 'The council has recently been carrying out checks to see how many unauthorised bins are in the borough."
Welcome to the new CCCP - Cameron's Corporatist Council Party.