Police officers in Stonehaven are stepping up patrols following a spate of opportunistic break-ins and thefts in the town.
Numerous sneak-in and acquisitive crimes have occurred in the community in recent weeks, including at Ramsay Road, Christie Crescent, Baird Street and West Glebe, where thieves escaped with gardening equipment and tools.
Valuables were also taken from homes at Brickfield Road, Burns Terrace and the Westfield area last month.
Chief Inspector Richard Craig said he hopes the increased presence of officers on the street will deter would-be thieves from carrying out more offences, while encouraging more local people to look out for signs of crime.
He said: “There is no place in our communities for people who think it’s OK to steal, and we will ensure those thieves are caught and punished appropriately.
“We live in an extremely safe part of the North East, and it is frustrating when a small number of criminals - who we believe might live locally - ruin this.
“Between more high visibility foot patrols, additional officers, and help from the public, we can ensure our area is an extremely safe place to live.”
Chief Inspector Craig is urging local people to play their part in protecting their homes, cars and valuables to make sure thieves do not stand a chance.
He said: “I don’t think a lot of people believe that they could become a victim of crime until it actually happens to them, but all it can take is a few seconds to enter your house, car or garage and make off with your hard earned goods. No feeling compares to the heartache and expense of having your valuables stolen, and the reality is that you could quite easily reduce your chances of becoming a victim by taking some very simple security steps, and repeating them until they become habit.
“Spring is officially here and lighter nights are drawing in, and it can be tempting to keep your doors and windows open. I would urge people to always ensure you secure your doors - front and back - even if you are at home, or in the garden. Please ensure they are locked and secure at night, and please close all windows and secure them, especially ground floor ones.
“Use good quality locks on your sheds and outbuildings and make sure bikes and tools are not left out overnight. Remove any valuable items from your car when it is unattended, and try to park it in a well-lit area. If you have security devices for your home, car or garage, please use them at all times.
“These steps are not hard, nor will they take a lot of time. They just need to become part of your daily routine.”
He added: “I would always urge people to contact police if they see anyone acting suspiciously in their area, as it allows us to check it out. You may think it’s nothing, but your call could be the one that ensures that you - or your neighbours - do not become the next statistic of crime.
“To report any suspicious behaviour, or if you have any concerns, please contact police on 101 or if you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”