Members of the public in Aberdeen are being urged to be vigilant after a spate of high-value thefts.
Over the past six months there have been 14 reported incidents at properties owned by Chinese and Asian families.
Cash and jewellery worth in the region of £70,000 have been stolen.
A black Audi A3 has reportedly being used by the thieves in some cases, with members of the public asked to report any suspicious activity involving a similar car.
A dedicated team has been carrying out inquiries into the thefts, including liasing with other forces across the UK.
Detective Inspector Fionnuala McPhail said: “While the last thing I want to do is cause any fear or alarm to people living in these particular communities, I must ask the public to be vigilant while our investigations continue.
“I must also stress that incidents of house-breakings across North East Division are at an all-time low with detection rates extremely high – however as further incidents of this specific nature are being reported to us, and with a common theme of the items being stolen, it’s crucial we make this appeal today to gather as much information as possible.”
DI McPhail added: “We are following several positive lines of inquiry as a result of our investigations so far howeve,r I would still urge anyone with information to contact
“Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous.
“In some cases we have received information about a black Audi A3 being used by those responsible so I would ask anyone with information about suspicious activity involving such a vehicle to let us know.
“We are also aware of appeals in recent months issued by another Police division in Scotland and other forces in the UK where similar crimes have been reported, therefore we are also liaising with these colleagues to maximise our intelligence.
“I would urge anyone with high-value jewellery or large amounts of cash to avoid keeping them in your house and to take relevant security measures to keep them safe.
“If you have to store your valuables at home, store them securely and out of sight. While securing your home doesn’t need to cost the earth there is no denying that having alarms and private CCTV assists should the worst happen.
“It could also be of benefit to take photographs of any high-value items you own as this will assist greatly should they be recovered.
“Finally if you see anyone acting suspiciously in your community, let us know.
“There is no harm in providing information to the Police in good faith and I would ask you to keep an eye on your neighbour’s homes if they are out.
“Also be wary of cold callers and ensure you verify that they are legitimate tradespeople. If you are suspicious in any way at all, do not let them into your home and report the matter.”