Brazen thieves steal Portobello man's 'favourite boat' by cutting it from car roof metres from home

An appeal has been launched to track down a boat which was stolen overnight from the roof of a car in Portobello.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 4:24 pm
The black and red Mega Megatron surf kayak was stolen overnight between midnight and 6am on Wednesday. Pic: Richard Young.

Thieves used cutting gear to remove the Mega Megatron surf kayak from the top of David Simpson's car in Dalkeith Street, some time between midnight and 6am on Wednesday morning.

Speaking to the Evening News, Mr Simpson said he noticed the boat missing early this morning when he and his daughter went out in the hope of going surfing at Bellhaven Beach near Dunbar.

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He said the boat, which is worth about £500 second hand, was secured to the top of his car with stainless steel cables just metres away from his bedroom - but he heard nothing during the night.

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Mr Simpson, who is president of the Scottish Canoe Association, said: "It would suggest people are driving around looking for opportunities and that they have the equipment to take advantage of any 'chinks in the armour.'

"Portobello has got a community website and I've seen there there has been a spate of thefts in the area.

"It's a real shame to lose something like this that probably will not be properly used by those who have stolen it. Surf kayaks are pretty unique and I'm mourning the loss of my favourite boat.'

At 2.5 metres in length, he believes the perpetrators may have easily taken the boat away in a vehicle.

A picture of the boat, along with an appeal, has been shared on social media with various kayaking and canoe groups including the Scottish Canoe Association.

The red and black surf kayak was bought from the Lothian Sea Kayak Club after its original owner, Richard Young, a veteran local surf kayaker who competes on the international stage, sold it on.

The vessel has the word 'megatron' printed on the side and is made from carbon kevlar, the material used for body armour, and is thought to have been worth much more than £500 brand new.

Mr Simpson, a 61-year-old former depute head teacher of The Royal High School, added: "I am concerned about the kind of lives these people are leading where they have to take these kinds of risks, and it's just so pointless and destructive because they are not getting anything from it - it stops people from practising the sport they love.

"If this boat is abandoned it could end up floating down a river or in the sea. Often, the coastguard have to use their resources to go and check these things out and make sure nobody is in it, and that concerns me as it could be a real waste of effort."

Mr Simpson said he and two others recently raised about £6,000 for the RNLI and Medicins Sans Frontieres after completing a 1,000 mile sea kayak around the coast of Ireland.

He has asked anyone with information to contact Police Scotland on 101 or the Scottish Canoe Association at Caledonia House on 0131 317 7314.