Fraserburgh has been hit by a spate of shoplifting in the last few weeks, according to reports from a number of Broch retailers.
The Fraserburgh Herald has spoken to various retailers, including Maitland’s and Tesco, who say they have seen a rise in the number of thefts from their stores.
At Maitland’s on Cross Street, shoplifters are alleged to have stolen duvet covers and bedding from the store.
Proprietor John Maitland told the Herald that he is having to rearrange his store - including moving the main counter nearer the entrance of the shop - to address the shoplifting problem.
Mr Maitland commented that on one of the occasions when the shoplifters struck, they dropped the goods and fled after being apprehended by customers.
The issue of shop lifting was raised at the most recent meeting of Fraserburgh Community Council, where a Police Scotland spokesperson said there had been six reported incidents of shoplifting in Fraserburgh since the last update in January.
Commenting, John Maitland said: “In the last week we’ve been hit by what we think is a gang who are taking a lot of stuff from the shop daily.
“Police are saying that it’s been happening a lot in Fraserburgh.
“We’d also like to get the local councillors involved.
“We’re hoping that the evidence the CCTV records can be used as evidence against the criminals.
“A few years ago there was a debate about whether CCTV was money well spent or not but I feel that it’s money well spent as long as the evidence is being used to catch criminals.
“We’re also going to be looking to install CCTV here at Maitland’s.”
Homestyle manager Brian Bruce commented: “We’ve been affected by shoplifters in the part. It’s certainly not a nice thing.
“More of a police presence in the town centre may help rid us of the problem.”
Neil Connell, manager of Tesco Fraserburgh, added: “We have caught a number of people in the last two weeks, there’s been an increase since the turn of the year.
“We have permanent security staff, who have been here since the store opened, and we’re hoping that will minimise the risk.”