A HUGE increase in thefts, of both produce and money, has forced farmers Ewan and David Swanston to close their shop at Pert Farm.
Sunday will be the final day’s trading.
Ewan called the Review to say that despite the honesty box system having worked well for the best part of eight years, in the last few months there have been so many thefts that the shop has been losing a substantial sum of money.
As well as farm-grown vegetables, the Pert outlet sold other locally-sourced items such as jam, eggs, tomatoes, etc.
But money has gone missing, stock has disappeared and the final straw came at the weekend, when padlocks were cut overnight and a mortice lock forced.
On a previous occasion the door was kicked in.
This is despite a sign stating clearly that no money is left in the shop overnight.
Ewan and David have now placed a notice at the shop, explaining the reason for closure, and adding: “We would like to thank all our loyal and honest customers for their business over these past years, but due to the huge increase in incidents of theft, of both money and produce over the last few months, it has become impossible to continue.
“In fact, our shop has been running at a financial loss as a result of these thefts for several months.”
They conclude: “We have not come to this decision lightly, so it will be with heavy hearts that we will close the shop for the last time on Sunday.”
But as far as the thieves are concerned, this may not be the end of the matter.
Ewan and David have CCTV footage of thefts taking place, and this is now in the hands of Tayside Police.