A SPATE OF HOUSEBREAKINGS in Moray has prompted a warning from local police for residents to show extra vigilance and ensure their property is secured.
A property in the Sheriffston area of Elgin was raided on Wednesday when several items of antique jewellery was taken alongside other items of sentimental value – including war medals.
In the Dufftown area on the same day another property was targeted by thieves who again stole jewellery.
At some point between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning this week, a property at Damhead in Kinloss was raided and a two-figure sum of cash taken. Around the same time attempts were made to enter a property in Findhorn and another in Forres.
Detective Inspector Norman Stevenson said: “These are completely despicable thefts where there’s been no regard for the emotional and financial impact on the victims involved.
“In one case priceless and sentimental items – some more than 100-years-old – have been taken and I can’t begin to imagine the distress this has caused.
“Enquiries are ongoing in relation to each and I would urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, to please contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous.”
DI Stevenson added that Moray was an “extremely safe place to live” – however, because of this cluster of incidents he is urging people in the area, and in particular in rural communities, to be on their guard.
He said: “You must never be complacent when it comes to the security of your valuables, no matter where you live.
“A huge amount of proactive work is carried out on a daily basis across North East Division under Operation Magpie to prevent acquisitive crime and, when the worst does happen, to identify and bring offenders to court.
“The public can play a crucial role in helping us do this by ensuring their homes, vehicles, garages and sheds are locked and secure in the first place to not give thieves a chance. In many cases the perpetrators are simply trying doors until they find one unlocked.
“Investing in security lights and robust locks can help put people off targeting your home, however the simple steps of locking your doors and windows and not leaving expensive equipment on display can be the most effective deterrents of all.
“I would also urge the public to let us know immediately if you notice any suspicious activity where you live. Look out for unfamiliar people and vehicles and, most importantly, tell us at the time.
“Responding to suspicious vehicles and intercepting them can be crucial to disrupting crime particularly in rural communities where offenders are relying on vehicles to get from A to B. People who work outdoors or drivers who travel on routes in and around Moray and use the roads regularly can be another set of eyes and ears for us, providing information which could be extremely valuable.”