Thieves stole tens of thousands of pounds from under the noses of staff at a north-east cash handling firm.
It emerged last night that three Loomis employees were at the firm’s Aberdeen HQ when a member of an organised gang snatched an estimated £65,000.
The raiders – who had been using stolen cars – then fled the premises at the Altens Industrial Estate.
One of them broke into the building in Souterhead Road and managed to take the cash without alerting staff.
The gang had been driving a blue Mini, a white Land Rover Freelander and a black Hyundai X35 – all of which were stolen.
Police have CCTV footage of the vehicles parked beside each other in Alten’s Thistle Hotel car park before the raid.
The cars had earlier been seen being driven around the area.
Officers would not reveal where they had been stolen from.
The Mini was found abandoned near the scene following the incident, while the other two vehicles were recovered at Wellington Terrace in Cove.
Last night, Detective Inspector Brian Geddes said he believed the gang had planned to meet in the hotel car park before targeting Loomis.
He added: “It would appear to be a planned congregation on behalf of the perpetrators, shortly before the crime.
“We’re still in the initial stages of the inquiry. It is difficult to assess how many persons we’re looking for. Only one person entered the premises.”
He added that no weapons were used during the break-in.
He said: “I can’t go into the method they used but they have come equipped to come into a premises like this. No weapons were involved, no threats made.”
DI Geddes described the raiders as an “organised group of people”.
He said: “There’s a lot of coming and going in the Altens area. Obviously there are a lot of gym-users at the Thistle Hotel milling about and there’s real potential for residents around there to help us out.”
The theft happened on Thursday, around 7.35pm.
Loomis is one of the biggest cash-handling and security companies in the UK, and operates across the whole of Europe and the US.
Yesterday, a Loomis spokesman said: “We work closely with the police. We just hope that the police appeal is successful. We have very few incidents like this in the UK because we are adequately looked after and protected.”