Canna shop theft victim vows he will not spoil island by locking up store


THE owner of one of two “honesty” shops hit by a mini crime spree on a tiny Scottish island has vowed not to lock his premises.

Colin Irvine’s gift shop, Hebridean Beauty, on the Isle of Canna’s pier, was raided on Friday night.

Thieves stole around £100 worth of cash and stock.

They also cleared the shelves of the island’s community store on the bay 500m away, on the same night.

Colin’s shop on the pier was hit in the mini crime spree, the first in almost half a century


Colin Irvine, 47, only opened Hebridean Beauty six weeks ago. The thieves took six bottles of luxury shower gel worth £12 each, and £20 in cash.

Colin, who runs the shop with business partner Denise Guthrie, said it would be “a shame” to change the island’s proud tradition of keeping the shops open and unguarded day and night.

He said: “I wouldn’t want to change too much, I think that’s the mood of other people on the island as well.

“We might put a camera in but we’re not going to lock it. It would be a bit of a shame. Part of what makes the island so special is the tradition of honesty.”

He added: “If you’re honest, you won’t mind a camera being in there. It would be quite discreet anyway.

“We’re just going to be a bit more vigilant. We’re hoping this will be a very isolated incident and it won’t happen again.”

Colin also revealed that both he and Julie McCabe, who runs the community store, had received several pledges of cash donations to help replace the stolen stock.

Police have confirmed they are investigating both cases of theft.

Only 26 people live on the island – but hundreds of sailors, kayakers, fishermen and other tourists visit annually.

Both shops operate on the principle of tourists and residents alike leaving a note of what they’ve taken plus the cash.

Canna, one of the Inner Hebrides, takes over two hours to reach by ferry. It is only four miles long and lies 35 miles from the mainland, just south of the Isle of Skye.

The robberies are first recorded crimes since the 1960s when a carved wooden plate was stolen from the Rhu Church and never seen again.

The island has no police station or even a special constable.

A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed they were investigating the incidents, believed to have occurred between 8pm on Friday June 12 and 8am on Saturday June 13.

He added: “Officers are looking to speak to members of the public and those on board fishing vessels which were moored around Canna pier around the time of the incident.

“If anyone has any information about the incident they are encouraged to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.”


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