Thieves stole money from a Maid of the Loch charity box.

The cash was taken from Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch, at around 7am on January 15.

Police are investigating the theft which happened after the mall was broken into.

John Beveridge of Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said: "This was a temporary donation box in the foyer because we've only just received our properly made ones.

"Fortunately it is emptied fairly regularly so there wasn't much money in it, only a few pounds.

"It's still a shame that given all the things we're doing to get the Maid sailing again, that someone would take money from a charity box.

"I suppose the temptation is always there when people see money in a box, but the fact that its for charity makes it worse.

"It's not something that we are very worried about but we're obviously concerned that it happened at all.

"All the money donated goes towards the upkeep of the Maid of the Loch.

"Our aim is to get the ship sailing again so anything we can do to help that is brilliant.

"We have a huge cost to just keep her at the pier and pay for fuel and staff.

"Anything we receive towards these costs is very welcome especially when the ship is closed over the winter and we have no other money coming in."

The temporary donation box will be taken away in the next few days and it will be replaced with permanent ones which will be placed beside a five foot model of the Maid of the Loch.

John added: "The new donation boxes are quite substantial and hopefully quite attractive.

"We hope we get lots of donations in the future as every little helps.

"Loch Lomond Shores certainly has lots of visitors and we hope our donation box will be in a prominent position."

The Reporter revealed earlier this week that the owners of the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer are to hold an independent inquiry into how the operation to 'slip' the historic paddle steamer went wrong recently.

The 191-foot vessel slid back into the waters of Loch Lomond on Thursday, January 10 near the end of a four-hour operation to haul her on to the Balloch Steam Slipway for a survey of the ship's hull as part of a £1 million refurbishment.

If you have any information about the charity box theft please call Dumbarton Police Station on 101.