Thieves have been branded “monstrous” after stealing comfort fund cash during overnight raids on three Tayside care homes.
The gang gained entry to Harestane Care Home and Ballumbie Court Care Home in Dundee and a care home in Forfar within a few hours of each other in the early hours of Thursday morning.
It is understood they removed the entire window from its frame in all three cases to gain access to the offices.
Police are linking the incidents due to the timescale and similar modus operandi.
Harestane Care Home in the Dundee’s Kirkton estate said it will replace a four-figure sum which was stolen from its comfort fund.
Priority Care director Andy Prior said he was “shocked and saddened that individuals could carry out such a heartless act”.
He said: “The most sickening part is that most of the money taken was from the client comfort fund.
“This money has been raised with great effort by relatives, staff and volunteers through numerous events and activities.
“As a company, we will ensure the funds are replaced to ensure clients are unaffected.
“The police and forensics team have been very supportive and professional throughout.”
Mr Prior said the home has an advanced CCTV system which they hope will assist the police in catching the thieves.
A spokeswoman for Ballumbie Court Care Home in Dundee said the safety of its residents was its “utmost priority”.
She said: “While we are deeply saddened and angered that local care homes, including our own, have been targeted by thieves, we can confirm that no one was hurt during this unfortunate incident.
“All residents remained safe and undisturbed, with the robbery targeting the administration part of the home which is located away from residents.
“Once colleagues were made aware of the robbery, they acted immediately to contact police and follow the relevant internal procedures.
“We continue to work closely with the police to support their investigation and can confirm that it was money belonging to the home that was taken.
“This will be reimbursed by our central office so that residents are not affected by this crime.”
Police dressed in forensic suits combed for clues at all three locations following the early morning raids and enquiries are continuing to trace the gang.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Dundee attended at Harestane Nursing Home around 9.30am on Thursday following a report of a break-in overnight.
“A four figure sum of money was taken and enquiries are ongoing.
“There was also a break-in at Ballumbie Nursing Home, reported around 3am on Thursday where a four figure sum was taken and a third break in to a care home in Forfar overnight.
“Officers believe these incidents may be linked and it is one line of enquiry being investigated.”
Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said the public will want to see “justice done to any perpetrator, and quickly”.
He said: “Residential homes are supposed to be safe places for our loved ones to rest.
“To target one for financial gain is unconscionable. For someone to hit three would be monstrous.”