Police Scotland are once again carrying out inquiries as part of Operation Suitcase after a number of properties across the country including Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway were targeted by housebreakers.
Operation Suitcase was launched in response to a significant number of Asian homes being broken into and high-value gold and other expensive items being stolen.
Between 21 August and 31 August, 2021, 14 incidents occurred in Beith, Bathgate, Stranraer, Cambuslang, Paisley, Stepps, East Kilbride and Glasgow.
As a result, Asian gold jewellery and watches, worth a combined total of £200,000 were taken and inquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible.
The 14 housebreakings are being linked and anyone with information is asked to come forward.
In particular, officers are keen to trace a gun-metal grey Cupra Ateca car, which is believed to have been in the area of each crime and is likely being utilised by the suspects.
Detective Sergeant Allan MacInnes from the Community Investigation Unit in Govan, said: “As a result of each of these incidents, the homeowners have been left devastated at the theft of their belongings and we are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry as we look to identify the culprits and trace the stolen items.
“We would ask that anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity in the affected areas between 21 and 31 August, or who can help us locate the grey Cupra Ateca and its occupants, contacts police immediately.
“In addition, anyone with any other information relevant to our ongoing investigation, should also get in touch.
“Preventing housebreaking and reducing the numbers of those affected by such crimes is a top priority for Police Scotland and the public have a vital role to play by ensuring their valuables are stored safely and out of sight and that all doors and windows are secured appropriately when left unoccupied.
“We would also recommend that those choosing to store significantly valuable items within their home invest in robust security measures such as safes, alarms and motion-activated lighting. In addition, where possible we encourage the use of safety deposit boxes out-with your home address, or if this is not a viable option, then please consider using a safe storage option, which is approved by your insurer.
“A range of useful crime prevention advice is available on our website by visiting www.scotland.police.uk.”
Those with information can contact Police Scotland by dialling 101 and quoting incident number2747 of 25/08/2021. Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.