Two young farmers in Angus have been left shocked and disappointed after a “brazen” thief stole honesty boxes from their farm gates.
Both incidents took place on the outskirts of Forfar around the same time on Saturday, leading the farmers to think they could be linked.
Police Scotland have confirmed they are investigating, with thefts in rural areas becoming more common in recent months.
The young farmers both believe a blue van may have been involved in the thefts. Police Scotland has confirmed it is investigating.
The first incident happened at Hatton of Carse Farm where an honesty box and a number of eggs were stolen from a box on the road leading to the farm.
Fraser Dandie, 17, an agricultural student who owns and runs Dandie Eggs, said: “I’m really upset this has happened. This is my own little business and it has been on the go for 10 years.
“The honesty box was stolen on Saturday in broad daylight between 11am and 3pm.
Our box is run on an honesty system where we put trust in our customers and the public to do the right thing and not steal. The box has always worked well up until now.
“We cannot continue to run our box if some people can’t be trusted. We believe this may be in connection with the theft at another local honesty-run shop, Bloomin Bees.
“It’s just been really upsetting. The monetary value isn’t high but it’s the principle and the fact that someone could do this in broad daylight.”
Fraser added: “This is a difficult time for everyone, so I don’t know if someone needed the money but it definitely feels like someone knew where the honesty boxes were and we have been targeted.”
Kelly Orr from Blooming Bees at Wardmill Farm said that her honesty box where she leaves flour and other produce for sale had also been targeted.
“I’m so sad and disappointed – after all these years, some awful person has burst open the cash box at the farm gate and lifted money. We have never had anything like this happen to us before.
“This has been very brazen – in broad daylight in the middle of the day. Maybe we’ve been lucky up to now but there have been so many rural crimes locally over this summer. It is not ok.”
Kelly said that in her case too the amount of money taken wasn’t large but she was upset that someone thought it was ok to take it.
She added: “We are asking if anyone saw anything to please let us know.
This obviously wasn’t one of our regulars. If anyone spotted a wee blue lorry it would mean a lot if they got in touch as we think you could help us.”
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland received a report of the theft of honesty box and eggs from a farm road at Wardmill sometime between 12pm and 12.45pm on Saturday October 10.
“Anyone who has any information is asked to contact officers on 101, quoting 1824 of October 10.”