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Anguish as vandals kill over 100 pet fish

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By Fiona Reid
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Anguish as vandals kill over 100 pet fish

DOZENS of marine creatures were killed during a break-in to a Dumfries home which resulted in at least £12,000 of damage.

Washing up liquid is believed to have been poured into two giant fish tanks at the house in Ashton Drive sometime on Saturday evening, in what has been described by police as ‘wanton vandalism’.
Speaking at the start of the week, fish owner Karen Wylie, 46, said: “There’s so many emotions at this moment in time. I’m so angry.
“I’ve not cried yet — but I’m close to it.”
Karen was introduced to keeping fish by partner Gordon Marshall, and they had been on holiday in Scarborough at the weekend when the attack took place.
An eldest son had been left at home, but while he was out it is believed that someone gained access to the house — vandalising the tanks as well as destroying the son’s television and daughter’s mobile phone.
Karen said: “There were tablets and laptops sitting, but they didn’t touch that, so it was just for kicks and giggles — without the realisation of the amount of money that’s in it.”
More than 100 creatures are believed to have been killed in the tanks based in the conservatory.
This included up to 60 sand-sifting creatures such snails, crabs, shrimps and starfish, and 20 to 30 fish in each tank — ranging from £5 to £200, and including a two-foot long Snowflake Eel.
Karen added: “It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of devastation.”
The tanks are valued at £5000, but Karen says all the environmental and filtration equipment is now useless.
Awaiting an insurance assessment, she said: “To renew everything, because all the equipment is contaminated and you can’t use it again, you’re talking £12,000 for that one tank.”
And due to the sensitivity of the creatures, she says it would be at least three months before a new tank would be ready to accept them.
Rushing home early on Sunday to find the devastation, Karen said: “It smelled liked Southerness on a bad day, because everything had started to decompose.”
PC Lyndsey Nicolson from Police Scotland said: “This is an awful case of wanton vandalism which has sadly cost the lives of a number of tropical fish.
“We want to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the Ashton Drive area of Dumfries on Saturday evening.”
Police can be contacted via 101.

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