Police Scotland is urging business owners in rural communities across the North East to ensure the security of their premises is a priority following two suspicious incidents overnight.
Officers received a report at around 6.30am this morning (Monday) that a store in the Main Street area of Cruden Bay had been targeted in a break-in and goods worth a low four figure sum had been taken.
Meanwhile, another local business at Main Street in Methlick was also targeted however no entry was gained and nothing was taken.
Both incidents took place through the night when the areas and roads would have been quiet.
Enquiries into both incidents are ongoing and anyone with information that could assist is urged to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous.
Detective Sergeant George Nixon said: "This type of crime is extremely rare in our communities, however you should never be complacent about security no matter how safe the area you live in is. It goes without saying that you should not have to worry about becoming the victim of such a crime and I can provide every assurance that extensive enquiries are underway to trace the person, or people, responsible for these incidents. However the more relaxed you are about your security and the less security measures you have in place, the more chance you give potential thieves.
"I would appeal to business owners in towns and villages across the North East to ensure your premises are locked and secure when you leave tonight and that you have appropriate security measures in place. Robust locks and safes are crucial to keep stock safe, while appropriate alarms and security lights can help bolster security. I would also advise against keeping large amounts of cash on the premises and to keep high-value items locked away.
"In addition I would appeal for you to keep a note of any suspicious people who might visit your business that you don’t recognise as being from the area and to let us know if you have concerns. It is entirely possible that potential thieves come from outwith the area to check out your set-up beforehand, in particular to establish if there is easy access to cash like ATM machines. I would also ask that if you are someone who is out and about at night during the course of your employment and see anything at all suspicious that you call and let us know about it.
"On a daily basis officers from across North East Division work extremely hard to ensure that potential thieves don't stand a chance, however it is essential you work with us to ensure your premises are safe and secure from the outset. The costs and disruption to your business can be devastating should you become a victim.
"For general crime prevention advice and tips on how to keep your business secure, you can speak to your local community policing team by dialling 101."