Thieves strike at homes in Midlothian and East Lothian

Police are appealing for information following a series of break-ins across Midlothian and East Lothian.

Four homes in Penicuik and Musselburgh were struck by thieves in the early hours of Thursday.

Police Scotland said it was investigating if the break-ins were all linked as there was a "clear pattern of thefts".

Officers urged people to keep their windows shut and doors locked when they go to bed.

Thieves broke into a house in New Street, Musselburgh at 05:45 on Thursday and took car keys, before making off with a black Mercedes E220, a laptop and a wallet.

At Livesey Terrace in Penicuik, keys were also stolen from a home between 23:00 on Wednesday and 07:30 on Friday, which saw a Mini Cooper car and a Suzuki GSXR 1000 motorbike being stolen.

A failed attempt to steal a motorbike was made at a house on Woodside Drive in Penicuik shortly after 07:00 on Friday, while there was an attempted break-in at Cuiken Terrace, also in Penicuik, at about 03:10 on Friday but nothing was taken.

Ch Insp Jim Royan, of Police Scotland, said: "There was a clear pattern of thefts and attempted thefts in Midlothian and East Lothian on Thursday night and our officers have been carrying out door-to-door inquiries in an effort to identify those responsible.

"Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious overnight in Penicuik or Musselburgh or who has any details which may help with our investigations should contact Police Scotland on 101 or, alternatively, phone the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"It has been very warm at night during the summer but residents are urged to ensure that all windows are shut properly and that all doors are locked securely when they go to bed.

"We would also advise homeowners not to leave car keys on display."

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