By Sebastian Murphy-bates For Mailonline
Published: 08:15 GMT, 3 December 2019 | Updated: 11:39 GMT, 3 December 2019
A 19th century cannon stolen from outside a village hall has been returned with an apology letter from the 'ashamed' person who took it - more than 30 years ago.
The enormous 400lb gun was swiped from picturesque Tealby, Lincs, in 1989 and, in the decades since, locals have speculated over its 'mysterious' disappearance.
Villagers couldn't believe their eyes when over a week ago, completely 'out of the blue', the cannon reappeared in the exact spot it was lifted from three decades before.
Alongside it was an anonymous letter from someone confessing to the robbery and explaining why, after all these years, they decided to return their spoils.
The cannon (pictured) resurfaced in the exact spot from which it was swiped in 1989 to the shock of villagers in Tealby, Lincolnshire
It reads: 'Around 30 years ago, as a youth, I was involved in a shameful act. The one and only criminal act I have ever committed was to aid some so-called friends in taking your cannon.
'Being part of this act has troubled me ever since. Please accept my sincere apologies for my unwitting part in this shameful act.'
The writer, whose identity is not known, explained his pals hauled the cannon into the back of a truck in which he was a passenger before making away.
In the decades since, the person who took hold of the cannon used it at