THE PLOT has thickened in the hunt for stolen vegetables at a city park.

It has now emerged the 'raid' could have been a possible Doors Open Day blunder, with a sign creating confusion at Pollok House.

Glasgow City Council say a sign offering a small amount of surplus vegetables in a basket at the plot may have caused confusion with visitors.

As we revealed yesterday, gardening staff at the site were horrified when they arrived for work on Monday to find the whole vegetable patch decimated, and thousands of leeks,carrots,parsnips and beetroot missing.

Stevie Burns, manager at the garden, was convinced there must have been a planned raid of the crops which were ready for harvesting, due to the large number of items taken and the amount of damage.

However a member of the public has told how they were visiting Pollok House on Sunday for Doors Open Day when they saw "between 15 and 20 people" in the vegetable plot.

He said he also saw people walking around the site with vegetables, "including some with shopping bags full of them".

The visitor said: "When we walked past the vegetable garden, there were around 15-20 people there of all ages - around 4 years old up to around 60 - ripping out the vegetables from the garden.

"There were lots of different families, couples etc there doing this.

"There was a laminated sign on the vegetable patch with the Glasgow City Council logo on it stating that the vegetables are surplus and because it was a community garden, then to help yourself to them which is what these people ended up doing.

"At the time, we thought it was ridiculous that the council would allow this with no staff on site, when they could have easily given the surplus to homeless shelters and people in need."

The local authority has insisted the incident is still being treated as vandalism, but acknowledged it may have "appeared people could simply help themselves".

A spokeswoman said: "Garden staff had put the sign out as they regularly do. We had given vegetables to Pollok House and the vegetables in the basket would otherwise have perished if we didn’t offer them out, in the basket.

"The sign has been in place for a few weeks with no issues.

"Perhaps with it being Doors Open Day at Pollok House and [there was] our sign to take vegetables from the basket, it appeared people could simply help themselves to what was in the ground which has resulted in considerable damage that in no uncertain terms results in vandalism that staff have had to deal with.

"The matter was reported to the Police and is, as far as we know, an ongoing investigation."