Raiders steal thousands from St Mary’s Cathedral

St Mary's Cathedral was raided by thieves. Picture: Julie Bull

St Mary's Cathedral was raided by thieves. Picture: Julie Bull

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Thieves broke in to an iconic city centre church and stole a safe containing several thousand pounds of cash in a “despicable” raid.

Two men damaged a door at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, off York Place, to get into the church between 12.25am and 1.15am on Saturday before fleeing with the safe.

This comes just weeks after the historic Roman Catholic building was targeted in a sneak-in theft, where money and an iPad were stolen.

Witnesses are being urged to come forward with any information to aid the police investigation.

Detective Sergeant Clark Martin said: “This is a despicable theft from a popular place of worship and city centre attraction.

“We would urge anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around St Mary’s Cathedral or within York Place in the early hours of Monday morning to contact police immediately.

“In addition, anyone who recognises the description of the suspects or who has any other information relevant to our ongoing inquiry is also asked to get in touch.”

Parish centre manager Fran Whitton said the culprits damaged a door during the break-in.

She said: “We have had to deal with an awful lot of strange incidents here. It could have been worse. Another thief snuck in about a month ago and stole some money and an iPad. We have upped the security since then.”

The suspects are described as white men aged between 20 and 30 years old.

One was wearing a dark jacket, jeans and white trainers while the other was wearing a dark hooded top with white stripes on the sleeves and his hood up. He was also in possession of a dark-coloured rucksack.

Police said officers were not linking the incidents at St Mary’s Cathedral to break-ins at two other city churches in mid-February.

St Patrick’s Church on Cowgate was targeted in the early hours of February 19, when “at least two thieves” smashed windows and broke a valuable crucifix. The pair also stole some clergy clothing and made off with cash from a charity box.

At some point between 10pm on February 18 and 8am on February 19, St Columba’s Free Church was also raided.

The office at the rear of the Johnston Terrace church was trashed and thieves stole a three-figure sum of cash from the safe.

Clerics at both churches said they were horrified to discover they had become a target for crime.

Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101 or charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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