VILLAGERS are trying to trace a mystery mime artist who raised hundreds at a charity fete but left without handing over any cash.
Organisers are unsure whether they were duped by a conman or the victim of someone who has “taken a joke too far”.
They said the man — wearing a full-body chequered “morphsuit” — “just appeared” and joined the carnival parade in Woolaston, Gloucs.
Committee member Sue Anderson said: “Everyone thought it was a great idea. He was dancing with the samba band and putting his arm around children who wanted their photograph with him.”
The mime handed out flyers inviting locals to pay £1 to guess his identity with the promise of a £100 prize.
But Sue added: “When everybody thought he was going to climb on stage and do the big reveal, nobody could find him. He had just disappeared.”
After putting an appeal on Facebook, Sue and husband Tony got an email from the silent mystery man, who offered to transfer £100 to the carnival’s bank account.
But they have heard nothing since asking to meet in person instead.
Sue said: “We could go to the police but they are hardly going to be able to identify him in a line-up.
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“We want to give him a chance in case it’s someone who means well and has just taken a joke a bit too far.
“But I know some are losing patience as they gave him money from their pensions and piggy banks.”
Carnival co-ordinator Andy Morgan Watts added: “It left a bad taste because people thought they had been giving money to charity.”
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