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Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative reports theft of safe containing thousands of pounds

ByEthan DeWitt

Sep 23, 2015
image: edinburghcoop.wordpress.com

The Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative has reported the theft of a safe containing thousands of pounds in cash from its premises, The Student has learned.

The safe, said to be the size of an A4 sheet of paper, was used to hold rent payments from tenants and store other valuables.  It was found missing from the basement office of the Housing Co-operative on Friday evening.

Police Scotland have been notified and an investigation is under way, officials confirmed on Wednesday.  A spokesperson for the police told The Student that the contents of the safe included “a four-figure sum of money.”

The theft was first announced Monday, in an email sent to co-operative members and obtained by The Student.

In the email, founder Mike Shaw told residents that the safe had been discovered missing “on Friday evening, during the jamming session in the basement.”

“The office door was propped open at the time, though it is quite possible that this was not when the safe was taken,” the email reads.

“The door does not appear to have been forced, though could potentially have been opened by other clandestine means,” it continues.

Shaw described the last definite sighting of the safe as the 25th of August, opening the potential timeframe of its theft to nearly four weeks.

“We ask that any and every member who has entered the office, been given access to the office, has given access to the office, or has witnessed the office open since the 25th of August reply to this email or speak with us in person with as many details as they can recollect,” he said in the email.

He appealed to any member or non-member guest who had “witnessed anything suspicious” to come forward, either in person or anonymously through the co-operative post box.

He also told residents that the co-operative would be “notifying our insurance company of the incident.”

The Edinburgh Student Housing co-operative is the largest student housing co-operative in the UK, and one of the first.  Launched last summer to a flagship group of 106 tenants, the co-operative is currently in its second year of operation.  The incident took place at its site in the Wright’s Houses overlooking the west side of the Meadows, near Tollcross.

In a statement to The Student, a spokesperson for the co-operative confirmed the loss of the safe and said: “We are working with the Police and exploring a number of possible scenarios in the hope of recovering the contents.

“We appeal to all visitors to the Co-operative in recent weeks who may have witnessed suspicious behaviour to come forward. We are not a private for-profit business – we are a co-operative built on self help and mutual aid. In effect the thief was stealing directly from ourselves as students.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating following the theft of a safe and a four-figure sum of money from an a property in the Tollcross area.

“The incident happened sometime between 24th August and the 18th September at an address in Wright’s Houses.

“Inquiries to trace those responsible are ongoing and anyone with information that can assist officers with their investigation is asked to come forward.”


This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes to light.    If you have any information on this crime, contact the Police by calling 101, using the crime incident number 3336, or email edinburghstudenthousingcoop@gmail.com.


Image credit: Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative


By Ethan DeWitt


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