Officers are appealing for information after thieves broke into the Maid of the Loch damaging a door and breaking a window.

Staff from the paddle steamer arrived at the vessel last Thursday morning to discover the tearoom door had been forced open during the night.

Eight miniature bottles of whisky and a charity tin and its contents had been stolen during the break in.

It is believed the theft and damage took place sometime between 5.30pm on October 3 and 9.30am on October 4.

The incident is the second blow to the Maid in recent weeks after the Heritage Lottery Fund’s board of trustees announced their decision on the second stage of the Maid’s grant application and declined to give the go-ahead on an overall funding request of £3,640,000.

The money would have seen the start of a £6million refurbishment to restore her as an operational steamship.

John Beveridge, chairman of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company who own the Maid, said: “There is no major damage done. Nothing of value was taken, but we have suffered a broken door and a broken window.

“It is an inconvenience more than anything of value being taken. A small charity box was taken, but it did not have much in it as it is not our main collection point.

“It is quite annoying though that they have done this to a charity, who are trying to make money getting the ship sailing again.

“It is quite minor, but it is the inconvenience of clearing up and paying for the door and window to be fixed. The police have been very helpful and, hopefully, they can turn up something.”

Police were contacted by staff and have confirmed that an enquiry is ongoing with CCTV being reviewed.

DNA and fingerprints have also been lifted from the scene, which Inspector Roddy MacNeill told the Reporter they hope will help them identify who is responsible.

He said: “We have had forensics out to the Maid of the Loch. They have lifted a couple of impressions from within the area of the boat, which potentially relate to the theft.

“The examination is complete and we are waiting for the results to come back for the fingerprints and DNA lifted, anything of evidential value, which will, hopefully, assist us with our enquiries and successfully identify who is responsible.”

Police are appealing for anyone with any information to contact Dumbarton police on 101.