Thieves broke into a boat at a north-east harbour and removed stolen tools in a wheelie bin following an audacious six-hour raid.
Police are appealing for information after power tools were stolen from the vessel at Macduff harbour in the early hours of Sunday morning.
One man is understood to have arrived at the boat, which had just been built, at 8.50pm before being joined by an accomplice and eventually leaving near 3am.
The managing director of Macduff Shipyards, John Watt, described the “nasty incident” as he appealed for people to look out for the stolen goods.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Watt said: “There was a very nasty incident at Macduff Harbour.
“A tall young man wearing waterproofs, a hood and light trainers, came from low shore on a bike with a headlight and single reflectors on each wheel.
“This man forced entry into a new vessel in the corner of the harbour and stole a large quantity of hand tools.
“The person was later joined by an accomplice and together they used a wheelie bin to move the stolen items.
“They left the scene around 2.45am on Sunday.”
Mr Watt added: “Many of the tools stolen belonged to our apprentices who are just starting out in their working life.
“These tools will hit the local market, but they are all marked.
“If you are offered or see them for sale, please do not buy them and instead contact Banff police station or our main office.
“For the young men trying to start a career during this exceptionally difficult time, this is a despicable crime.”
Vice-chairman of the Banff and District Community Safety Group, Mark Findlater, is urging those with information to come forward.
Mr Findlater, who is also a local councillor, said: “It’s terrible that this has happened and obviously the police will be looking into all possible avenues.
“The harbour itself does have CCTV cameras but anyone with any information should contact police.”
Chairman of the safety group, Richard Menard, added: “This isn’t an ideal situation, even in lockdown people have taken advantage.”
PC Gavin Duff said: “I would urge anyone who was in the area and may have seen anything suspicious, or if you have any information relating to the theft, to come forward.”
Those who are approached with power tools or who have any information should contact police on 101.