Volunteers at a Fife charity say they are “disgusted” after their premises were targeted in a £1,000 break-in.
Thieves made off with goods from St Andrews Men’s Shed at the town’s Botanical Gardens over the weekend.
About 50 men help at the shed, where they meet and take part in practical activities, and support community projects.
Henry Paul, chairman of the charity, discovered the break-in as he opened up the shed on Monday morning .
Drills, TV and cash stolen
He said: “The padlocks were cut open and our safe was forced open, but thankfully we hadn’t left any cash in it.
“But they still stole six Dewalt cordless drills, a flat-screen TV and a small amount of cash from elsewhere as well.
“The police were around promptly in the morning and then SOCO [scenes of crime officers] were around in the afternoon dusting for prints.
“There have been break-ins at the Botanics during summer, so we’re not sure if they’re related.”
The stolen tools had either been donated or bought using money raised by the charity to support community projects.
Henry said: “The break-in will limit what we can do.
“The community projects that we were involved in will need to be put on hold.
“In the past we’ve built muddy kitchens for a school in Cupar and planters for the MS Society.
‘It’s so sad for everyone involved’
“The tools were donated and some were purchased with money donated to us.
“They’re all there so that people can borrow them for our projects, which will now be on hold.”
Henry says volunteers have been left shocked by the theft of their property.
He added: “We’ve never had a break-in before, so we were all pretty disgusted.
“It’s very sad for everyone involved in the project.
“It’s taken a long time to build up to where we are now, four years in, so this has set us back quite a bit.
“Soco took samples away, so they’ll look to find any DNA or fingerprints.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers are investigating following a break-in and theft from an outbuilding near the Botanic Gardens in St Andrews which was reported on Monday, and is believed to have happened between the late afternoon of Saturday and Monday morning.
“Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should report this to officers via 101 and quote incident number 0881 of November 15.”