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Detectives are appealing for information after nine Oban businesses were broken into.
Enquiries are at a very early stage to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incidents in the Mill Lane and Lochavullin Road area, which are believed to be linked and happened between midnight and 3.30am today, Wednesday August 11.
Detective Sergeant Kirsteen McDaid said the break-ins appear to have been ‘pre-planned’ and extensive enquiries are under way to establish exactly what has been taken from each premises, and identify the people responsible.
‘Information from the local community is going to be absolutely essential to this investigation and I would appeal to anyone who noticed anything at all suspicious in the early hours of this morning to please get in touch.
‘I would also urge any motorists with dash-cams who were travelling through the area to check their footage in case they have managed to capture anything which could be of significance.
‘I would like to reassure the public that additional patrols will be in the Oban area, focusing especially on businesses premises and industrial estates, in an effort to prevent any further break-ins,’ said Det Sgt McDaid.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland through 101, quoting incident number 0409 of Wednesday, 11 August. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Fabio Alvadia says he was lucky only the door to his car cleaning business was damaged and nothing was stolen.
‘They must have used an iron bar or something to force their way in but nothing was taken. We had car keys, money, laptops here but they took nothing. I don’t know if they got disturbed or something.
‘I came to work and saw police tape everywhere. I thought My God what’s happening? You don’t expect to see this in Oban.
‘Whoever did this had it all organised. Our businesses were targeted, it was all planned. They even cut CCTV cables in the street,’ he said.
Munro’s garage was broken into as was Walton’s food distribution and storage services.
Eric Walton said a safe containing a three figure-sum of money was stolen after a fire escape door lock was burst open. Stock was not taken but damage was done to other doors and a cabinet where the safe was attached was ripped apart.
Cables from the business’s 12 cameras were also ‘carefully removed’ and CCTV hard-drive taken said Mr Walton. But the crime has not stopped the business functioning.
‘They knew what they were doing. Sadly it’s part of normal life but it’s not so prevalent up here,’ he added.
Family-run Hazelbank Motors was also able to open as usual. A spokesperson from the business confirmed it was another of the break-in victims but said it was ‘in the hands of the police now’.