Thieves steal six woolly hats in first island robbery in 50 years

Thieves cleared out the shelves of the Canna Community Shop on Canna in the Small Isles.

Canna community shop stock wooly hats quality news image uploaded June 16 2015
© SWNS Group

A tiny Scottish island has been hit by its first crimes in decades.

Thieves cleaned out the Canna Community Shop and stole beauty products and cash from a newly-opened cosmetics store on Friday night.

The crimes - which included the theft of six woolly hats - are believed to be the first on Canna since a wooden plate was stolen in the 1960s.

The island in the far west of the Small Isles has fewer than 30 residents, no police station or village hall and usually enjoys a crime rate of zero.

The Community Shop was previously left unlocked to allow local sailors to use its Wi-Fi but will now be closed overnight to prevent future thefts.

A spokeswoman for the Canna Community Trust, which runs shop, said: “In the four years our shop has been run on an honesty basis this is the first time this has happened and we are all gutted by it.

“The thieves cleared the shelves of sweets, chocolate bars, coffee, biscuits, batteries and more. Most upsetting for [manager] Julie was they stole six of her hand-knitted Canna wool hats which were in the shop on a sale or return basis.

GV of the Isle of Canna Community Shop. Quality news image uploaded June 16 2015
© SWNS Group

“The thieves would have had to fill carrier bags with the amount of items they took.

“Sadly, this means we will have to lock the door of the shop overnight now. We left it open specifically to welcome fisherman in to use the Wi-Fi and buy anything they needed while resting in at our pier overnight.

“Thefts like this put our shop in jeopardy and may mean it will have to close, which would be a real shame after all the hard work and voluntary hours that go into it.”

Colin Irvine, who runs Hebridean Beauty on Canna, said the shop had only been open for a few weeks before the thefts.

Canna community shop stock quality news image uploaded June 16 2015
©SWNS Group

He said: “I have a little shop at the pier where we sell products from beauty products. Some of the stock is gone so it must have happened at the same time. Some money was also taken from the honesty box.”

Councillor Bill Clark, who has represented the area for 13 years, said the thefts were “unbelievable”.

He added: “I would think this is the first crime in years - I don't know for sure but I certainly haven't heard of any crime there in my time. I doubt very much if anyone even locks their doors there."

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