TWO specialised trikes worth more than £4000 were stolen from an environmental charity before being set alight and abandoned.
Crops in Pots, a Leith-based organisation which helps community groups and schools grow food and flowers, had a pair of expensive Danish Christiania Cargo trikes stolen from a locked stairwell in Junction Place.
The three-wheelers, which have large coloured trailers attached, were later found burned out near a cycle path in Seafield, leaving the charity unable to transport compost, plants and tools between the many gardens it has helped established in Leith.
Founder Evie Murray said: “It has been totally devastating. The two trikes were locked to railings in my stairwell, which also has an intercom system to get in. We thought they were safe there as we don’t have a secure lock-up for them.
“But they are very noticeable – one was red, the other green – so someone’s obviously seen them going in and out. They were locked up as normal then when I came down the stair the following morning there was just a big space where they should have been.
“It was a horrible feeling. They cost £2100 each but are just invaluable to us.”
The theft happened on Tuesday night and although Ms Murray called the police, it was Crops in Pots’ large social community that found them – burned out in Seafield.
She added: “I called the police in the morning. No-one in the stair had heard a thing, but the door must have been forced. In the meantime I’d put out a notice on our Facebook page. Within half an hour, one of our members said they’d seen them burnt out.
“They probably had a bit of a joyride on them as they are big, fun trikes. But it’s one thing to steal them, another to set fire to them. I just don’t understand why someone would do that.”
The trikes were insured but Ms Murray has been amazed by the community response.
She said: “Before we got the trikes we had to transport our things by wheelbarrow which meant we couldn’t really do all the things we wanted to do as an organisation. They made such a difference.
“We’ve had people saying they’ll raise money to replace them, and others have been offering us trailers. It’s been very heart-warming.”
Crops in Pots is based in Constitution Street and for two years has been working with a number of primary schools, as well as Leith Academy.
It was started because of the lack of green space in Leith and now has more than 2000 people involved. It also runs the two acre Leith Community Croft on Leith Links.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police are investigating following the theft of two tricycles from an address in Junction Place. The incident happened on Tuesday around 10pm. Inquiries are ongoing.”