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North-east Fife break-ins believed to be work of travelling criminals

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Travelling criminals are believed to be behind a spate of break-ins in north-east Fife.

Several businesses and two residential properties were targeted over three weeks in February.

The most significant was a high value theft of property from the Spar store in Leuchars, which was broken into during the early hours of Wednesday last week.

Police said they believed that travelling criminals were using either stolen vehicles or vehicles with false registration plates when they struck.

Investigators are following a number of lines of enquiry and Police Scotland said extra patrols were being conducted.

Detectives from CID are working with local officers, road policing units and Fife Council’s safer communities team in an attempt to trace those responsible.

Inspector Jane Combe, of Cupar Police Station, said: “We can confirm that a series of commercial and residential break-ins have occurred at homes and business premises across north-east Fife over the past couple of weeks and inquiries are under way to establish if the same group of individuals are responsible.

“We are progressing our investigations as part of Operation Principle, the ongoing initiative to tackle acquisitive crime within the Kingdom and anyone with information is asked to come forward.”

Nine housebreakings between February 7 and 27 are being probed.

In Strathkinness a house and a children’s nursery were broken into. In Leuchars a hairdresser’s salon was also targeted.

Others hit were a domestic garage in Newburgh, a flat in Cupar, a café and a hotel in Kingskettle and a café in Newport.

A public update issued locally by police said: “To date all investigations indicate that these crimes are being carried out by travelling criminals who are using either stolen vehicles or vehicles bearing false stolen registration plates.

“Together with colleagues from our Criminal Investigation Department we are following a number of lines of enquiry to detected and apprehend those responsible.”

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