The theft of a metal entrance gate from the grounds of a scientific research unit in Aberdeen has been described as a “despicable act” by local councillor.
The disappearance of the large vehicle gate, used to guard the edge of the James Hutton Institute (JHI) grounds in Cragiebuckler, went missing over the Christmas and New Year period.
A spokesman for the JHI confirmed last night the gate had in fact been stolen and that the theft had been reported to Police Scotland.
It follows a similar incident in March in which a gate mysteriously disappeared near Cooper’s Park, Aberdeen.
The James Hutton Institute, which also has a Dundee Campus, conducts environmental research in order to understand global issues, such as food, energy and environmental security.
Cllr Martin Greig said the area from where the gate was removed is “quite concealed” and must mean robbers had been “investigating the area”, which meant it “could happen anywhere”.
He asked those in the local community to be vigilant and report and suspicious activity to stop any similar thefts occurring in future.
Mr Greig continued: “This is a particularly despicable act since the location is next to a scout hut and close to a pre-school nursery.
“There are many walkers who use this area so the removal of the gate could enable traffic to access the area.
“This theft is a huge worry in this peaceful residential area as the gates are there to protect the community.
“Hopefully anyone with useful information will contact the police.”