Three children’s shoes that were found on a Victoria beach Thursday evening containing bones and a meat-like substance appear to have been left as a hoax, according to police.

Const. Mike Russell confirmed Friday that the shoes held only non-human remains, but said investigators will continue to probe the discovery in hopes of laying public mischief charges against the person or persons responsible.

“The hoax caused a significant alarm to our community and caused a lot of worry and also expended numerous police resources,” Russell said.

“We had the majority of our patrol squad that was on last night, we had a full detective compliment, we had our forensic identification team [and] we had our K9 officers down there.”

A passerby found one shoe at around 5:30 p.m. near Clover Point, and officers called to the scene managed to locate another two nearby.

Russell described the apparent prank as a “stupid trick” police were forced to treat with the utmost seriousness.  

“We know there have been actual confirmed cases of human feet washing up so when a case like this comes in, 100 per cent, we have to take it very seriously,” he said

“We pulled out all the stops and had everybody down there.”

Approximately one year ago, police investigated another prank involving shoes that washed up with what appeared to be remains at Oak Bay.

Russell said investigators will be working to determine whether there is any connection between those cases and the most recent hoax.

He advised whoever is responsible to cut their losses and turn themselves in immediately.

“It’s much better than having our detectives spend weeks, possibly months trying to track them down now,” Russell said.

Roughly a dozen actual human feet have washed up in the coastal region from B.C. to northwestern Washington State since August 2007.

The BC Coroners Service says the owners of all but two of the feet have been identified, and none of the circumstances surrounding the discoveries appear to be suspicious.