Return of the razor gangs feared
A HAUL of cut-throat razors, daggers, air rifles and samurai swords has been stolen from a Scottish sale room, fuelling fears of a new outbreak of street gang violence.
The owners of Love’s Antiques in Perth say they are “terrified” the weapons could be used in a “planned attack”, and Tayside Police issued an urgent appeal for information.
Cut-throat razors were the weapon of choice for Scotland’s gangs until the 1970s, but their use died out as they disappeared from general sale.
Mark Fairbrother, managing director of Love’s, said yesterday: “There is now a gang of neds running around heavily armed, which is a horrible thought.
“The streets will not be safe until the culprits are caught.”
The salerooms were broken into at some time between 6:30pm on Saturday and 10:45am on Sunday, with a considerable number of gold items, vintage jewellery, and petty cash also taken.
The thieves – who it is believed may have visited the premises in the days leading up to the crime – gained entry into a back courtyard before kicking a large hole in the shop’s back door.
In what appears to be a planned theft, they targeted particular areas of the shop.
The pair of guns had been stored in a locked office, the swords hung on the wall and the knives and razors were in a secure glass cabinet, alongside many of the necklaces, bracelets, rings and brooches. The total cost of the items taken is estimated to exceed £5,000.
Mr Fairbrother, who runs the venture with partner Irene Watson, said the seller of the weaponry, an independent trader who has asked not to be named, had decided to cease business as a result to the incident.
Mr Fairbrother said: “He is shocked and upset that this has happened and that these weapons are now out in the wrong hands. It is legal for over-18s to buy the items but they could be used to inflict harm.”
He added: “We are all gutted about the break-in – you just don’t think it will happen to you.
“A group of younger lads were in recently but we have notified the police of this fact.
“Obviously, the loss of money is a problem for us but more importantly we don’t want to hear of anyone getting hurt.”
Police searched the warehouse for fingerprints yesterday and pieces of evidence were removed for investigation – notably knife safety tips left strewn at the front door.
Detectives are now reviewing CCTV and conducting door-to-door inquiries.
Tayside Police duty inspector Julie Robertson said: “We can confirm we are investigating a break-in to Love’s in Perth where two air rifles, along with a small number of weapons and some unusual items of jewellery were taken, although nothing of a particularly high value.
“Police will be carrying out several lines of inquiry including inquiries with neighbouring premises, second-hand dealers, and reviewing CCTV footage.
“We would appeal to second-hand dealers to be particularly alert.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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