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James Owen was walking his friend’s two dogs at a ford at the end of Intake Rd on Sunday morning when he scraped his toe on “something sharp” after taking off his sandals and following the dogs along the water’s edge.
He investigated - and then pulled up a wooden board with several long nails in it.
The board had been sitting on the bottom of the stream floor with the sharp ends of the nails pointing up.
He then found a similar board nearby.
Owen says he was shocked at the find, and grateful the dogs had not stood on them. He was also lucky his own foot had missed pressing down on the sharp nail by millimetres.
"If I had stood on that with force that nail was going into my foot," he said.
Owen immediately removed the boards, fearing others could stand on them.
He said it appeared they may have been deliberately submerged to puncture the tyres of four-wheel-drive vehicles or quad bikes.
"Imagine if a child had stood on it, because it’s a popular spot."
Owen posted about his find to a West Melton community Facebook group.
Members were appalled, calling the act nasty and sick, and feared what would happen to a child if they stood on the nails.
Owen reported it to police.
Senior Sergeant Anna Lloyd said the incident was concerning.
Police had advised Sicon, which undertook river maintenance.
There had not been any previous incidents reported.
"Police want to know about any further occurrences of this occurring," she said.