Two stolen vehicles have been recovered by police investigating a string of shop raids across the north-east.
On Tuesday, thieves smashed their way through a window at the Spar in Culter and grabbed thousands of pounds worth of booze before making off in a black Audi Q5.
The car they used had been stolen from outside a home in Inverurie in the middle of the night – but was recovered in Bucksburn yesterday.
Two men are still being sought in connection with the incident, which took place at about 2.15am on the day.
About 48 hours later on Thursday, a similar raid took place at Banchory’s Out There Active Wear store in the town’s Bellfield car park.
A gang broke into the popular outdoor clothing retailer by driving through the front door before making off with “tens of thousands of pounds worth” of summer stock.
Four cars are believed to have been used, and police are trying to work out if a silver Citroen C5 and cream Mini stolen from Strachan on the same day are among the vehicles involved.
Last night officers confirmed the Citroen had been recovered in Aberdeen, however the Mini is still missing.
Shop owners Anna and Nicky Adam said they were “heart-broken” at the break-in, adding they believed the gang had “cherry-picked” their very best stock just days before.
The latter raiders are believed to be from Liverpool.
The force insisted it was “keeping an open mind” if the two raids were linked, and last night renewed their appeal for information.
Inspector Martin Burgess renewed his appeal for information and said: “Additional patrols are being carried out in the area but we are urging residents to ensure they keep their homes and cars locked and items of value stored out of sight.
“If anyone sees or has seen suspicious behaviour in recent days we would ask them to contact the police.”
Detective Constable Emma Low, who is investigating the Culter and Inverurie thefts, said: “We are following several positive lines of inquiry following the collection and viewing of CCTV footage, house to house inquiries and forensic examinations, however I would still urge anyone with any information that could help to come forward.
“In particular anyone who spotted an Audi matching the description in the hours before it was recovered should also get in touch.”