In what could only be described as an extremely bizarre crime, police have arrested a Hamilton man for pouring what's believed to have been a pool of maple syrup onto the sidewalk near the Convention Centre.

Police were called around 10 a.m. Thursday, and found a strange "unknown, sticky liquid" covering a four-foot area on the corner of Summers Lane downtown, police say.

A city road crew had to be called in to clean up the liquid. "They think it might've been a syrup — maybe maple syrup," said city spokesperson Kelly Anderson. "But they don't know for sure what it was."

Witnesses pointed out the man they said was responsible, and police arrested the 56-year-old for mischief. "He caused resources to have to be deployed to clean this stuff up," said Const. Steve Welton.

City crews had to lay down "absorbent material" to clean up the mess, Anderson said.

The man was also carrying a small amount of marijuana and was found to be breaching a probation order, police say.