A PROFESSIONAL gang is thought to be behind the theft of three high-value cars from outside houses in the Lothians.
A red Mercedes C180, a black Audi S3 and a BMW 1 Series worth a total of £90,000 were taken within two days of each other after thieves broke into the homes to steal keys.
It comes after a spate of such thefts in Edinburgh led police to advise residents to take their car keys “up to bed at night”.
In the latest thefts, police have not ruled out that the cars may have been stolen to order.
The Audi and a BMW were stolen from a house in Carberry Road, Musselburgh, on Monday afternoon by a group of four men seen in the area.
One of the men is described as being white, 5ft 8ins tall, in his early 20s with short brown hair, a dark jacket and jeans.
On Wednesday, a BMW 1 Series was stolen from a house that had been broken into in Laburnum Avenue, Prestonpans, at about 8.15pm.
East Lothian councillor John McNeill, who sits on Lothian and Borders Police Board, said: “I’m shocked to hear of these thefts. Three high-value cars being stolen suggests the crime has been carried out by professionals.”
Detective Inspector Keith McKay said police were keeping an open mind as to the motive of the crime, adding: “If you leave your keys or handbag near a front or back door, your car is more likely to be stolen.”
The rise in housebreakings to steal vehicles has been linked to new security measures, which make it almost impossible to steal cars without the keys.