Police rescued a Blackburn man locked in a shed after receiving a tip-off from a Net user in the US.
The man - who has a PC and Net connection in his shed but no phone - posted a message on an user group early Friday morning claiming a gang of yobs had locked him in.
In a short posting he said: "This is not a hoax. I am trapped in my shed with no phone. Help please."
An unnamed Net user from the US read the posting and contacted police in Blackburn. They went round to the man's house and let him out.
A number of the postings on the newsgroup appear to cast doubt on the validity of the cry for help.
However, Lancashire Police have confirmed to The Register that an incident did take place in the early hours of October 12.
They received a call from a Net user in the US who said he was responding to the SOS. The caller declined to leave his name.
Police received the call at 5.30am BST and were with the man - called Steve - within 15 minutes.
There, they found someone locked in a shed. There was no evidence that any yobs were involved. One theory is that the wind blew the door shut.
Perhaps not an open and shut case but there you go.
So far Steve has not replied to El Reg's requests for an interview. ®