‘Rustler’ seeks ran­som for safe re­turn of In­ver­aray gnomes

Argyllshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

Fears are grow­ing for the safety of three in­di­vid­u­als kid­napped in a brazen raid on an In­ver­aray home.

As re­ported in last week’s edi­tion, a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched af­ter the gnomes were taken from a house on the out­skirts of the town, near the A819 Dal­mally road, be­tween 8am on Mon­day Au­gust 27 and 8am the fol­low­ing day.

Mat­ters took an even more sin­is­ter turn when the Ar­gyll­shire Ad­ver­tiser re­ceived an anony­mous note from some­one claim­ing to have taken them – and look­ing for a ran­som for their safe re­turn.

The writer signed off as ‘The Gnome Rustler’.

A po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched in late Au­gust af­ter three gar­den gnomes were taken from a prop­erty near In­ver­aray.

Then, on Wed­nes­day of this week, the Ar­gyll­shire Ad­ver­tiser re­ceived an anony­mous note from some­one claim­ing to have taken them – and look­ing for a ran­som for their safe re­turn.

‘The Gnome Rustler’ wrote: ‘It was stated in your news­pa­per of Fri­day Septem­ber 7 that gar­den gnomes had been stolen.

‘This is not ex­actly true. They have been kid­napped.’

The rustler added that a ran­som de­mand had been sent to the owner, though the na­ture of ran­som was not made clear in the let­ter sent to this news­pa­per.

The note con­tin­ued: ‘I have en­closed a cou­ple of pho­to­graphs so you can see that the gnomes are okay.’

On fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Ad­ver­tiser discovered the gnomes were not, in fact, the ones stolen, leav­ing mys­tery sur­round­ing the iden­tity of the prankster – who had gone to no lit­tle ef­fort – be­hind the stunt.

The where­abouts of the stolen In­ver­aray gnomes re­mains un­known.

The pho­to­graphs submitted by the ‘rustler’ – which proved to be fake gnomes.

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