Police have launched a probe after a defibrillator was stolen from a Fife school.
Vandals targeted Glenrothes High School last week, police say, and took the lifesaving device before smashing plant pots.
The defibrillator which was stolen from the Fife school was later recovered discarded in a garden.
‘Nothing short of despicable’
Inspector Kirk Donnelly of Glenrothes Police Station said: “This type of equipment is often obtained through local community fundraising and its location carefully chosen so it is available to anyone who may need it to save lives.
“The theft and vandalism of such an important piece of equipment is nothing short of despicable.
“My officers are following a positive line of inquiry but we would appeal to the public for any information about who is responsible for this crime to contact police on 101, quoting incident 0870 of 29 March or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“The defibrillator will be returned to its rightful place and owner following some further police inquiries.”
‘What goes through their heads?’
SNP councillor Ross Vettraino has slammed the vandals and admitted the “mindless act” could have cost lives.
He said: “I don’t know what goes through people’s heads when they commit mindless acts of vandalism like this.
“It’s a sign of the times and these sorts of things are a real scourge of our society at the moment.
“I think it’s got to come down to education and we have to ensure we are getting the message across the young people that these sorts of acts aren’t on.
“What would have happened if someone required this device to save their life and were denied it because someone thought it would be funny to steal it and dump it elsewhere?
“This is the sort of thing that could have cost lives.”
‘We just want to help someone who may need it’
Staff at the school had released a heartfelt appeal for information on the theft of the defibrillator, before it was found discarded in a garden.
A post on social media said: “We regret to announce that the defibrillator that was installed to save lives in our local community was taken.
“The ambulance service has confirmed that it has not been used.
“If you know anything or happen to find it, please contact the school as soon as possible. We just want to help someone who may need it.”