Staff turned up for work at an Aberdeen bookmakers – only to find it had been ransacked overnight.
The Ladbrokes outlet on South Esplanade East was broken into between 10pm on Wednesday and 8am yesterday.
Employees made the discovery when they arrived for their shifts yesterday morning.
Police have now launched an investigation into the incident, and have appealed for members of the public to come forward if they have any information.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers are currently investigating a housebreaking at Ladbrokes in South Esplanade East, Aberdeen.
“The incident happened between 10pm on Wednesday and 8am yesterday.
“Inquiries are ongoing and officers are appealing for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious or have information that will help with the investigation to call 101, quoting incident 0656 of Thursday February 27, or make a call anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Police remained at the scene for several hours after the incident and detectives could be seen speaking to staff inside the shop.
One of the betting machines in the outlet had been forced open, and debris was strewn across the floor of the shop. Staff believe those responsible for the break-in could have entered through the roof of the property as the shutters on the doors were undamaged.
However, they were hopeful that despite the damage to the interior of the shop, nothing had been taken.
The Evening Express understands no cash is left inside the premises overnight.
The premises was closed for business yesterday and was due to remain shut today with investigations ongoing.
The shop’s staff were hopeful of being able to reopen for the weekend.
Torry and Ferryhill councillor Audrey Nicoll condemned those responsible for the break-in, and called on anyone with information to come forward to assist with inquiries.
She said: “I was disappointed to hear this had happened and I would encourage anyone with any knowledge of the incident to contact Police Scotland on 101.”