Forfar businesses hope bungling thieves have left behind the vital CCTV clues which could lead police to the Boxing Day crooks.
A string of town businesses were targeted in the early hours of Sunday.
The gang made off with thousands of pounds and a Ford Ranger pick-up in the Orchardbank Industrial Estate raid.
But they left behind CCTV server units ripped from a coach firm’s desk showing the suspects’ vehicle arriving on the scene shortly before 1am on Sunday morning.
And footage from a gym – which appears to show two of the thieves stopping for a cuddle mid-raid – was also saved.
Raiders’ car caught on camera
Recordings show at least four people entering the garage at JP Coaches.
Company director Jason Rodger branded the gang “idiots”.
“I’m just shocked that they have done this.”
The firm’s CCTV shows the suspects’ vehicle – possibly a white SUV such as an Audi Q3 or Q5 – turning into the Gordon Park units opposite.
They’ve then gone to the safe and pulled it clean off the wall.”
Jason Rodger of JP Coaches
The gang spent around 20 minutes trawling businesses there.
They then tried the main gate of the coach yard before ripping up metal fencing and crawling underneath.
Jason added: “Once they were in the yard they tried the main door.
“But maybe they saw that had an alarm, so they’ve then gone to the garage door and forced it open.
“We’ve got two CCTV boxes in the office and they’ve ripped them out.
“They’ve then gone to the safe and pulled it clean off the wall.”
It contained a four-figure sum.
Jason added: “But when they’ve been taking the safe they set the CCTV boxes down and forgot to pick them up.
“I just had to get another cable, plug them back in and we’ve been able to hand over all the footage to police.”
It shows the hooded group in the yard and breaking into the garage.
Jason added: “They took our Ford Ranger Wildtrak, registration BU59 BOS.
“But we believe it’s been picked up on cameras in Dundee and then at Longforgan.
“It’s pretty distinctive since it has our name and logo on it.
“I hope they’ve made a big boo boo by leaving behind the CCTV boxes.
“Hopefully that will help the police nail them.”
Jason thinks at least one of the suspects is female.
But he warned on social media: “The CCTV also shows crowbars and what looks to be knives being carried, so be careful.”
In Gordon Park, the door of every business there was tried.
Agricultural supplier Colin Duncan lost cash and his CCTV kit in the break-in to his Dunmore Agri operation.
And at Valhalla Gym, an honesty box used by members to pay for drinks was taken. It would have contained around £70.
Brett Hampton, who co-owns the 24-hour Gordon Park gym with his brother Dexter, said a reward is being offered for information which leads to those responsible being traced.
“They left the equipment alone,” he said.
“It would have been heavy to move and they would have needed a decent-sized vehicle to take it.
“For anyone to think they can just come into your business and steal from you is pretty hard to take.
“I think we can all agree that it takes a special class of individual to behave like this, especially in the festive period,” said the 28-year-old.
He added: “I definitely think if this hasn’t been someone local, then there has to be a local link to it.
“They’ve come down here with the intention of coming into these businesses.
“The response we have had on our social media has been phenomenal and the other businesses have been the same.
“And we’re slightly optimistic we may be able to recover more CCTV footage.
“There is the reward and hopefully someone will come forward with the information that will help catch these people.”
Police Scotland has appealed for information.
Anyone who can help with the investigation should contact 101, quoting incident 0929 of December 26.