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Only kidding.

Byline: Mike Underwood

Poster prankster Richie strikes again and admits: Customers even asked price of my air guitars...

He was the sinister figure who haunted children's nightmares in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Now a hunt for a real-life Child Catcher has been launched in sleepy Sedgefield to combat young gangs terrorising residents.

Eyebrows were raised when an advert appealing for the services of the menacing character appeared in the window of Sedgefield Post Office recently.

It reads: "Child Catcher required. Must have own butterfly net and supply of lollipops. Needed to clear the unwanted chavs and hoodies that turn up after dark in the village."

Durham Police confirmed the village centre has problems with a small number of rowdy youngsters "like every town and village in the country".

A spokesman added: "We have never had any serious problems."

But parents need not worry, the ad is merely a joke by prankster and Sedgefield postmaster Richie Parry.

Richie, 32, said: "It is just one of many joke ads that I put in the window.

"There aren't really that many problems with youngsters. It is a bit of a joke that we do now and again.

"We have had some people interested in the job but no one has taken up the post just yet."

In the past, Richie has advertised air guitars in the Post Office - and was amazed when a couple of customers came in to ask how much they were!
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 9, 2006
Words:243
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