A PHANTOM vandal who plagued residents in a Cumbrian village for six months by puncturing the tyres on their cars has been unmasked - as a dog!

Residents installed CCTV to find out who was damaging the cars but it appears they were barking up the wrong tree as the footage has shown that the culprit is a local Border Collie called ‘Jess’.

Cumbria Police said Jess has been using her daily walk to bite the two nearside tyres of cars she comes across - causing slow punctures and flat tyres by morning.

PC Simon Amos, who solved the mystery, said many residents had been 'very upset' at the thought of someone targeting them and deliberately causing the damage.

But now it's a case of roger, rover and out for the police.

PC Amos said: "The dog had been seen approaching the cars and many believe that she was just sniffing at the tyres. It isn’t until you take a closer look, that you can see her biting the tyres.

“The owner has been contacted and has been very surprised and also apologetic about the whole situation. He will be now keeping Jess on a lead."

“We know that there may be other residents or visitors that may not have reported any damage to their tyres. We want to reassure them that the culprit has been identified and hopefully the damage will stop.”

The incidents happened in the Jocks Hill and The Sands area of Brampton near Carlisle.