Thieves have stolen festive floral wreaths left on the graves of loved ones at an Aberdeenshire cemetery.
Several tributes have disappeared from the front of headstones at Portlethen Church Cemetery.
Police believe the wreaths – which featured several different artificial flowers, including white roses and lilies, with tartan ribbon woven through them – were stolen between December 1 and Monday.
Officers said although the value of the displays were low, the thefts had caused “considerable distress” to families who were remembering their loved ones at Christmas.
Local councillor Alastair Bews, whose home overlooks the graveyard, said he was shocked at the “unusual and distressing” incident.
He said: “It’s really quite shocking. At a time of grief when people are laying wreathes for their loved ones it seems inconceivable that anybody would find it acceptable to remove those.
“I’m really quite taken aback, it’s not what we want to see in Portlethen and we have a very low crime rate here, so if anyone knows anything about it I would urge them to contact the police at once.
“Portlethen generally is a fairly well behaved community overall, so this is very unusual and distressing, especially at this time of year when people’s thoughts are with their loved ones who have departed.
“I really have no idea who could have done this, but I would ask people to make sure that their youngsters keep well away from the graveyard and respect the people of Portlethen.
“I wouldn’t even remotely know what the purpose of stealing these wreathes would be, I know for a fact that I would be more than a bit suspicious if someone came up to me in the street attempting to sell me one.
“It is a very strange situation indeed, and one that I hope the police will be able to resolve as quickly as possible to alleviate any concerns that the people of Portlethen may have.”
A police spokesman said: “We are appealing for information following the theft of a number of wreaths stolen from graves at the Portlethen Church Cemetery.
“Although the value of the wreaths is relatively low, these incidents can cause considerable distress to the victims who are paying their respects to loved ones over the festive period.”
Anyone with information should call 101.