Aberdeenshire teens charged over mass gnome theft

PC Jack Savile keeps a close eye on the gnomes at Banff Police Office. Picture: Hemedia
PC Jack Savile keeps a close eye on the gnomes at Banff Police Office. Picture: Hemedia
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TWO teenagers have been charged in connection with the theft of over 30 garden gnomes, police revealed today.

Dozens of the garden ornaments, including a 2ft statue of Oor Wullie, were found by police during a search of a car near Banff, in Aberdeenshire, last month.

Police Scotland confirmed yesterday that two men, both aged 18, had been reported to the procurator fiscal over the alleged thefts.

A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland can confirm that two males, both aged 18, have been charged in connection with the theft of a large number of garden gnomes from a number of addresses in north Aberdeenshire last month.

“A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal in due course.”

A total of 33 statues were found during the police search - including traditional garden gnomes, a cat, and a Buddha and even a gnome wearing a police uniform.

The statues are alleged to have been taken from a number of gardens in the north-east.

Despite several owners coming forward following an appeal some of the gnomes are still behind bars in police ‘custody’.

Constable Shonagh MacGregor of the Banff Community Policing Team appealed for anyone who was still missing a garden ornament to get in touch.

She said: “The owners may be reluctant to come in to the police office to reclaim their gnomes, but if they call Police Scotland on 101 and quote reference number CF0111170414, we will make arrangements to return the ornaments to them.”

Recent years have seen a resurgence of the “travelling gnome prank”.

It involves stealing a gnome and then taking it on a journey and taking photos of it at famous landmarks - before returning it.

There have even been “gnome liberation” groups set up around the globe.

The tongue in cheek organisations encourage people to ‘free’ gnomes from oppressive gardens and let them live in the wild.