Brass-necked thieves target First Minister’s neighbours


Alex Salmond will be nervously keeping an eye on his front door after thieves stole a brass name plate from a neighbouring building.

Bute House, the First Minister’s official residence, has two such plaques displayed prominently either side of the front door.

Thieves targeted an office building opposite the residence over the weekend – making off with a name plate worth around £250.

The cheeky robbers left the screws that held the nameplate in place behind – carefully placing them on the building’s window ledge.

Amanda Kremer, managing director of the networking specialists Thrive for Business said: “Staff came in to work on Monday morning to find their brass plaque, proudly marking their spot opposite the First Minister’s house, had been stolen.

“And to add insult to injury the thieves left the screws on the windowsill.

“We called the police to report the theft who said similar incidents had occurred in neighbouring streets.

“We will be replacing our name plate, we are insured, but we will be making sure it is glued securely.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government insisted that the First Minister would not be falling victim to the spate of brass thefts that has plagued the capital in recent months.

He said: “We have robust security measures in place 24 hours of the day at Bute House. We review security in all our buildings on a regular basis.”

It is thought stolen brass is being smuggled south of the border for sale abroad, or being melted for scrap elsewhere in Scotland.

Kick-plates from the bottom of doors are worth around £200, while letterboxes are sold for around £20.

Brass is seen as an attractive prospect because prices have been as high as £2 per pound for scrap with demand being pushed higher by countries such as China.

Churches in the city have also been the victims of theft with copper and lead being taken by thieves.