A potential thief was warned off by police after trying to take a bucket of sand from the Main Beach in Port Stanley, Ont.

Elgin County OPP say an officer was observing traffic on Monday morning when a car pulled up behind the police car and the driver got out.

Police say the man then started to fill a five gallon (nearly 20 litre) bucket with sand from the beach.

When asked, the London man told police he needed sand to level stones at his home.

He was warned that taking sand could result in a charge of theft under $5,000 and that he should probably purchase the sand instead.

OPP are reminding the public that the beach, whether public or private access, belongs to someone and should be treated with respect.