A thief has taken flight with a village’s beloved puffin statue.
The theft of the carved bird, a popular landmark in Cellardyke, has put locals in a flap.
Police launched an investigation after its plinth was found to be an empty nest on Monday morning.
The wooden sculpture was bolted and chained to a platform several feet high in James Street.
It is thought to be worth around £250 and is one of only two chainsaw carved by Stuart Provan, of Pittenweem.
Rob Glendinning, who tends to the floral display round about the puffin, noticed it had disappeared as he returned home from a night shift.
He said: “I had chained it to the ground with a short length of chain which was subsequently bolted into the base on which the puffin stood.
“Whoever took it wrenched the puffin from the chain leaving a chunk of the sculpture still attached.
“The puffin stood about three-and-a-half feet tall and was fairly heavy, easily 50 lbs in weight.”
The puffin was gifted to the community around three years ago by a local resident to be the centrepiece of the display created by Anstruther and Cellardyke in Bloom.
Kate Shearer, of the bloom group, said: “The puffin became a bit of a landmark.
“Walkers go past there and you can see people looking at and admiring it.
“One holidaymaker told me her grandchildren always stop to say bye-bye to the puffin when they leave.
“We know things get stolen, plants regularly get nicked from planters, but we didn’t think for a moment someone would take the puffin.
“You need a ladder to get up the platform and there are always cars parked there so it’s difficult to get to.
“It was a very deliberate and planned theft.
“Whoever took it has taken it from the people.
“They have removed something that gave pleasure to a lot of people.”
Police Scotland issued an appeal for witnesses to the theft, which occurred between 6pm on Sunday and 8am on Monday.
Community Sergeant Neil Johnston, of St Andrews Police Station, said: “This is an attractive addition to the street and its disappearance has caused a lot of upset in the local community.
“It was donated by a generous member of the public and local officers are urging anyone who may have anyone information to its whereabouts to contact police on 101.”