A PAIR of stolen gnomes have been returned home after being locked up in a police station.

A total of 33 gnomes were discovered when police searched a car in Banff, Aberdeenshire, last week. Two gnomes, including a statue of Scots comic personality Oor Wullie, snatched from a home in Banff, have been returned to their owners so far.

But the remaining 31 gnomes have been left without homes are being kept under lock and key at Banff Police Station.

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They are believed to have been snatched from homes across Aberdeenshire on Wednesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 3.

Police have asked anyone who recognises any of the missing gnomes to contact them on their 101 non-emergency number.

A police spokeswoman said today/yesterday: "A few of the ornaments have been returned to the owners, however the majority are still with officers in Banff.

"Inquiries are still ongoing to trace the owners of the property."

Officers say three men are helping with their inquiries, and have asked anyone else with information to come forward.

Constable Jack Saville said: "A total of 33 gnomes and garden ornaments are believed to have been taken from a variety of addresses in the Aberdeenshire area overnight between Wednesday and Thursday last week.

"We are keen to trace the owners of these items."

The discovery of the figures has rekindled memories of a bizarre spate of incidents in the north-east in the late 1980s.

Garden gnomes were placed at various points throughout the town centre, including a bus stop and newspaper office.