Tayside and Central Scotland

Police probe after plaques stolen from SAS memorial

David Stirling statue Image copyright Colin Smith
Image caption The SAS memorial and statue of Sir David Stirling stands near Doune in Stirlingshire

Police are investigating after bronze plaques were stolen from a statue of Special Air Service founder Sir David Stirling.

The plates, one a tribute to the SAS troops killed in World War Two, were removed from the plinth of the statue near Doune in Stirlingshire sometime between 22 and 29 May.

Community groups said the "awful" theft was out of character for the area.

The damage to the statue could cost thousands of pounds to repair.

One plaque bears the inscription "David Stirling, founder of the SAS Regiment, 1941", while the other carries a tribute to the 307 SAS soldiers killed during World War Two.

They measure 900mm by 600mm and 700mm by 400mm, and appeared to have been removed with bolt cutters.

If sold for scrap, the plaques would have a low three-figure value, but could cost thousands of pounds to replace.

James Innes, chairman of the Kilmadock Community Council, said the thefts were relatively unusual in the quiet rural area.

"It's terrible, really awful," he said. "The plaques are quite expensive.

"The price of scrap metal has gone up from what it was, so you do hear about metal thefts going on - about six months ago someone pinched the drain covers from the road.

"But it's not prevalent at all here, it's not a bad area."

A wartime commando in the Scots Guards, Sir David Stirling established the SAS in 1941, initially in North Africa, as a small band of highly-trained troops who specialised in crippling German airbases.

The SAS memorial was erected at the Hill of Row in 2002, near his family estate at Park of Keir, near Dunblane.

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