NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Grampian Police issue warning after cars worth £1m are stolen

People have been warned by Grampian Police to stop "leaving doors open for criminals" after cars worth more than £1m were stolen.

More than 100 cars have been taken since October - and the ignition key was used in more than 90% of cases.

In that period, 86 people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire were charged in connection with car thefts, 13 of whom were under 16.

Ch Insp Garry Senff urged people not to leave their house doors unlocked.

The force said high-value and powerful cars continued to be stolen from insecure homes.

'Astonishing risk'

Ch Insp Senff said: "The message is simple. Don't give criminals an open invitation, because they will take advantage of the opportunity.

"Nobody wants a stranger raking through their personal belongings while they and their family lie asleep, let alone making off with one of their most valuable possessions."

He said it was "astonishing" that people would risk losing their car by leaving the keys in view behind an unlocked door, or in the ignition of an unlocked vehicle.

"But that's exactly what has been happening in many cases, and while we will continue to trace, arrest and charge suspects for these crimes, a few simple steps by the public could stop them happening in the first place," he said.

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