Even if it's public, it doesn't mean it's free.

That's the message from the Elgin County OPP after a man was seen taking sand from a beach in Port Stanley.

It happened on Monday at around 10:45 a.m. at the port's main beach.

That's when police, who were observing traffic in the area, saw a blue car pull up behind their vehicle. The driver then got out and started filling a five-gallon bucket with sand.

He told police he needed sand to level stones at his residence in London, Ont.

The officers there advised him that he should purchase sand legally, lest he face a criminal charge of theft under $5,000.

Beach property belongs to someone, police say, whether it's private or public.

It's not clear whether the man got away with the sand or not.