A hunt has been launched for hooded thieves after an early morning raid at a used car dealership in Hawick earlier this week.
Three men entered the forecourt at Greendale Car Sales on the Galalaw Business Park on Tuesday morning, before making off with a diagnostic machine.
Police are linking the raid to six other break-ins and attempted break-ins over the Easter period in Selkirk, West Linton and Innerleithen.
The intruders at the car dealership were captured on the firm’s CCTV cameras.
Owner Nick Mactaggart hopes the images may help capture the intruders and appealed for the public’s help in bringing them to justice.
Nick is pretty sure the raiders, who made off in a red vehicle which was possibly a Volvo V40, were after the keys to the cars in the firm’s yard.
He said: “They had tried to force open the door of the barrier leading to the cars but didn’t manage it. I am assuming they were after the keys to the cars, but luckily they are kept off site at night.
“We moved here a year past January and we’ve never had any problem in the past with thieves as we advertise the fact that we have CCTV cameras on site. It just seems these three were on a bit of a rampage. What I really want to stress is a big thank you for the response we’ve had to this from the public, they have been incredibly supportive.
“I put some footage from the CCTV cameras on our Facebook page and it has had 35,000 hits. When we put up a car for sale we might get one thousand hits, but nothing like this.
“We have had many messages and calls of support and we’re really appreciative of that. This happened at around 4am in the morning. Any help in catching these thieves will be greatly appreciated.”
Police are investigating a string of similar incidents which all occurred between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
Three business premises in Innerleithen were broken into, a tanning salon, coffee shop and a bakery.
Attempts were also made to force entry to a clothing shop in Selkirk and two local shops in West Linton. However these were unsuccessful and nothing was stolen.
From the four successful housebreakings, numerous items including a four figure sum of cash were taken.
At several of the addresses targeted a small red vehicle was seen which contained three occupants wearing dark clothing and balaclavas.
Local officers suspect that all break-ins are linked and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
Detective sergeant Barry Roebuck from Galashiels Pro-Active CID, said: “As part of our ongoing investigation we would ask that anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity within any of the areas affected to contact police as soon as possible.
“We’re particularly eager to speak to the occupants of a small red-coloured vehicle that was seen in the area at the time and who may have information that could help.”
Chief Inspector Andrew McLean, area commander for the Scottish Borders said: “Police Scotland treat all crimes of dishonesty with the highest priority and I would like to reassure the public and local residents of the areas affected that we will continue with our pro-active patrols and road checks in an effort to deter and detain those responsible.”
Those with information can contact Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Anyone with any information can also call Greendale Car Sales on 01450 363581 or Police Scotland on 101.