Police have recovered numerous vehicles and valuables stolen from across the north-east thanks to Operation Ruby.
A number of cars have been taken and homes have been entered in both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in recent weeks, and - in most cases - thieves succeeded when those properties and vehicles were left insecure.
Chief Inspector Richard Craig said that thanks to intelligence-led policing and help from the public, several motors have been traced so far, including a Volvo taken from Fraserburgh on Friday, February 26, which was eventually recovered in Braemar.
Meanwhile, a Land Rover Discovery taken from outside a property in Fraserburgh’s Strichen Road area on Thursday, February 25, was recovered within hours in the Aberdeen area, while an Audi stolen from an unlocked property in Portlethen on the same night was also recovered shortly after.
A Range Rover Evoque taken from a home in Maryculter on Monday, February 22, was recovered in Blackburn. However, a BMW 435 that was taken from the same address has yet to be found.
Two vehicles stolen during a series of thefts in the towns of Drumoak, Aboyne, Ballater and Braemar overnight between Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday, two have also yet to be traced.
On Monday, four people appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in relation to various car crime charges linked to Operation Ruby.
With various vehicles still outstanding, Chief Inspector Craig is appealing to the public to contact police if they notice anything suspicious or any unfamiliar cars parked in their area. Numerous parts of the north-east have been targeted recently by would-be sneak-in thieves, including Deeside, Ellon and Kingswells.
He has also urged people, once again, to keep their valuables locked away at all times, ensuring their properties, garages and vehicles are always secure.
He said: “Please, do not give thieves a chance. Opportunistic criminals will try a house or car door until they find one unlocked, and if you fail to keep your belongings secure, you could sadly be the victim next.
“Operations such as Ruby, which tackles car thefts and thieves, are at the forefront of our policing strategy, and it is testament to our officers that so many vehicles are traced and returned to their owners. In some cases, the vehicles involved are recovered many miles away, with no apparent connections to the area.
“I must stress that the public must take simple security measures to avoid becoming the victim of crime. Always lock your cars when leaving them unattended and keep vehicle keys out of reach from your front door. It is also good advice to not leave any valuables on display within vehicles.
“Police Scotland has issued many warnings 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.”
Anyone with information about crime in their area should contact Police Scotland on 101 or if you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.