BUNGLING thieves who broke into a bookmakers to steal its safe were forced to flee empty-handed – because it was too heavy.
The culprits targeted a William Hill branch in Newington as revellers celebrated the new year.
Following an intense period of sporting activity the would-be burglars must have hoped the secure deposit box was brimming with cash.
But after sneaking into the shop via a back door, the suspects failed to move the heavy safe and were forced to give up. They left with nothing.
One local shopkeeper said: “Because of the timing of it, it’s thought they could have been in there for a while trying to shift the safe without any joy. It must weigh a tonne. It’s embarrassing for the people who were trying to rob the place but good, really. Everyone is delighted they got away with bugger all.
“It just goes to show that cashing up properly and making sure all the takings are safely away works. I’ll bet a lot of other local traders, myself included, have seen this as a timely warning.”
William Hill could not be reached for comment on the failed break-in.
However, a spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police confirmed the safe could not be budged.
She said: “We are appealing for witnesses following a break-in at a shop in West Preston Street on Hogmanay.
“Sometime between 5.30pm on Monday, December 31 and 7.20am on Tuesday, January 1, William Hill was broken into but nothing was actually stolen. Police are urging anyone who noticed anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Hogmanay to contact us on 0131-311 3131.”