DETECTIVES investigating the first crime on the Isle of Canna in 50 years have a new lead.
Officers will interview seven sea kayakers and a crew of fishermen in a new effort to solve the case.
£200 worth of goods – including biscuits, coffee, sweets and wooly hats – were stolen from the island’s two tiny shops last weekend.
Just 26 people live on the 4.4 long island, but one fishing boat and 17 yachts were moored on the island on the night of the theft last week – widening the pool of police suspects.
And it emerged on Saturday night that police will question members of the Eastwood and East Kilbride Canoe Club and the crew of the Nordic Way, a Barra-based fishing boat, in relation to the theft.
The island shops operate on an “honesty box” system, meaning that shoppers write what they have taken and leave the appropriate amount of cash.
But it seems some sticky-fingered visitors failed to leave any money at all when they took a variety of items from the island’s two shops last Friday night.
Thieves took six wooly hats, sweets, biscuits, batteries, bath oils and shower gel from the two shops in what has been described as the “crime of the century” on the island.
It is the first recorded crime on Canna since the 1960s.
Shopkeeper Julie McCabe said: “I am absolutely floored that someone has been in and did that to our community.”
On Saturday night club members Stuart Clark, 66, and Steve Bell, 50, confirmed that their party was on the island when the crime took place but there was “absolutely no way” they were involved.
Clark said: “I bought items from Julie’s shop, as a way of helping to support the community.
“It’s shocking what has happened and we hope the culprits are caught.”
The crew of the Nordic Way have been at sea, fishing in the Atlantic, since leaving the island on 12 June, and it is understood that police will question them when they return to port.
Canna, the westernmost island of the Inner Hebrides usually enjoys a crime rate of zero, and has no police station or resident officers.
Police are also hoping to track down the owners of the 17 yachts at bay that night in an effort to crack the case.