Police have issued an urgent appeal to the public to ensure their properties and vehicles are locked and secure at all times following a spate of sneak-in thefts across the north-east.
A number of cars have been stolen and homes have been entered in both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in the past two days, resulting in the theft of thousands of pounds worth of valuables.
Following investigations it emerged that in most of the incidents reported to police, doors had been left insecure - giving opportunistic thieves a better chance of success.
In Portlethen, a black Audi was taken from outside an unlocked property in the early hours of this morning (Friday, February 26). Meanwhile in Fraserburgh, a Gold Volvo was taken from the Beacon Drive area.
Another vehicle - a grey coloured Land Rover Discovery - was also taken from outside a property in Fraserburgh’s Strichen Road area at around 11.50pm last night (Thursday, February 25).
In Aberdeen, a Fiat 500 was stolen from outside a home in the Davidson Drive area in the early hours of this morning.
A number of homes in Ellon have also been targeted in the Castlepark area this week between Wednesday (February 24, 2016) into Thursday morning (February 25).
Chief Inspector Richard Craig, Area Commander for Aberdeenshire South, said that all it takes is a split second for sneak-in thieves to ruin lives.
He is urging members of the public to heed previous police warnings to ensure their homes, business and vehicles are always secure - and to not help criminals.
He said: “People don’t think it will happen to them, but the sad truth is that you are far more likely to become a victim if you don’t take basic steps to ensure your valuables are secure.
“We live in a very safe part of the country, but I would urge people not to be complacent and lock their doors.
“It only takes a few minutes - sometimes seconds - to enter a home, car or garage to steal valuables, however the results can cause immeasurable distress and expense.
“These are opportunistic thieves who will try any house or car door until they find one unlocked. Please ensure you take the basis steps of locking your vehicle and house.
“Police Scotland has issued warnings previously urging the public to ensure their doors are locked, even when they are home, and to keep expensive equipment from view.
“Please do not take the security of your belongings for granted. Lock up, be vigilant and please do not give these people a chance.
“We will have additional patrols deployed over the next week to combat this spate of crime, but would look for the support from the public in reporting any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity in their local area.”
Anyone with information about any of these incidents, or for advice, contact Police Scotland on 101 or if you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.