Three cars worth a combined £60,000 have been driven off the forecourt of an Elgin dealer in a “daring raid”.
Thieves broke into the Hawco premises on The Wards yesterday to ransack the office for keys before making off with three vehicles.
Police say the raiders, who wore masks over their faces, drove off on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness towards Nairn after the theft.
Investigations have now been launched to establish whether the cars were specifically targeted and what there eventual destination might be.
Police have launched an investigation after the break-in at Hawco in Elgin.Raid on dealer organised by ‘professional thieves’
Last night dealer director Kevin Hawco revealed the cars were later detected heading south on the A9 Perth road by number plate recognition cameras.
He said: “Staff arrived for work as usual at 8.30am and discovered the damage, the police were down very quickly.
“It looks like they were professional thieves because it would have taken some considerable force to open the safe to get the keys.
We are appealing for information after cars with a combined value of over £60,000 were stolen from a car showroom in…
“It’s very disappointing because times are tough enough for local businesses at the moment without things like this happening.”
Police say three thieves broke into the Hawco office at about 12.30am yesterday for the raid before pocketing keys for the cars from the Elgin dealer.
Officers are now reviewing CCTV footage in the area and working to establish possible destinations for the stolen cars.
The vehicles taken from the forecourt were a red Audi A3 SW66 DZY, grey Volkswagen Golf SX17 BAA and black Volkswagen T-Roc SY69 WCR.
The suspects were wearing padded jackets and tracksuit bottoms at the time of the raid.
Were stolen Elgin cars specifically targeted?
Specialist police officers have now launched an appeal for witnesses to hear from anyone who saw the raid from the Elgin dealer in progress or who saw the cars on the A96 in the aftermath.
Detective Sergeant John Pirie from North East CID said: “This was quite a daring raid on the garage.
“Whether these cars were specifically targeted or not has still to be established, however, I have no doubt that those responsible were looking for high value vehicles.
“Although this happened in the early hours of the morning, the garage is in quite a busy area, near to a retail park and residential properties.
“Officers have been carrying out local inquiries, checking CCTV and have been speaking to local residents of homes overlooking the garage but would also appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time to get in touch.
“We are particularly keen to hear from, for example, delivery drivers, passing taxis or cars in the area and would ask that they check any dash-cam footage they may have from the street from around the time of the crime or prior to the theft occurring.”
Anyone with information should contact Elgin Police Station by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to give details anonymously.