Police in West Lothian are appealing for witnesses after two historic bibles were stolen from a church near Queensferry.
Between midday on Sunday, July 17th, and 2pm on Saturday, July 23rd, a thief or thieves broke into Abercorn Church in the village of Abercorn and stole the religious texts, which had been situated in the pulpit area.
The bibles are thought to be up to 200 years old and had been lent to the church by the Hopetoun Family.
Police are now appealing for information in an effort to return the stolen items as quickly as possible.
The books are approximately two foot by one foot in size and are around five inches thick. Each is bound with red leather and has distinctive brass plating on the corners.
Constable Andrew Young who is based at Broxburn police station said: “Both bibles hold considerable value not only in monetary terms but also have historic significance for the local community.
“We are extremely keen to recover these items and return them to the church as quickly as possible.
“I urge anyone who has information that can help us trace the bibles or who knows who took them to please get in touch with police on 101. Alternatively a report can be passed anonymously through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Lord Hopetoun, speaking on behalf of the Hope family, added: “We are very distressed at the theft of these bibles. They have been on loan from my family to Abercorn Kirk for a long time and recently, the Kirk Session of which I am part had reluctantly to take the decision to lock the church after a series of antisocial incidents.
“To be confronted now with the theft of these irreplaceable pulpit bibles is deeply sad.
“If anyone has any knowledge of their whereabouts, I would urge them to contact the police as they are of huge value to the Abercorn community.”