The police have issued a warning to the residents of Stewarton and the surrounding area after a spate of vehicle thefts in the past week.

Locals are being told to remain extra vigilant following investigations of thefts of vans and thefts of goods inside motor vehicles in the Stewarton area.

East Ayrshire Safer Communities Officer, PC Hannaford-Bennett said: “Local officers are investigating the theft of two Ford Transit vans in the Stewarton area which took place overnight from November 22 into November 23.

"Despite a recent arrest and the recovery of a stolen van from a previous incident these incidents and a similar number of thefts from vehicles have been reported in the area.

"Enquiries continue into these incidents with officers reviewing all available CCTV footage, conducting house to house enquiries and increasing patrols in the area.

"Today we are also reminding vehicle owners of some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the opportunity for a vehicle to be targeted by thieves.

"All valuables should be removed from your vehicle - don’t leave any property on open display, ensure your vehicle is secure when unattended and consider additional security measures such as a steering lock, immobiliser or blocking your van in with another car.

"I would also encourage anyone who witnesses people acting suspiciously to contact police immediately by calling 101 or in an emergency by calling 999."