POLICE believe a major crime gang was behind a recent theft from Selkirk Post Office.

The Market Place premises were targeted by two men on Thursday, August 2.

A four-figure sum of cash was stolen during the distraction theft and the suspects are still at large.

It has emerged that similar tactics have been used at small post offices all over Europe.

And investigating officers think an eight-strong gang are behind the growing number of thefts.

Selkirk community policeman Conal McEwan said: “It is known that a gang are targeting Post Offices all over the UK and even in Europe.

“We do have images from the town’s CCTV cameras of the perpetrators but they have not yet been found.

"They were seen walking around the Market Square and also checking out other shops."

Two men entered the Selkirk premises early in the afternoon before leaving and returning a short time later.

As one of the thieves asked for assistance at one end of the shop the other raided the till.

Councillor Caroline Penman, who is a joint owner of the shop, said: “We were unlucky to be targeted – this same gang of eight have been going all over the country doing similar thefts.

“The two that came into our shop played the role of a carer and a vulnerable adult and we were caught out.”

It is understood the thieves spent more than an hour casing the post office as well as neighbouring businesses before pulling off the scam.

PC McEwan added: “If anyone notices people taking time to watch premises they should pick up the phone and call us – they should also note down any registration numbers so we have somewhere to start.”

The first suspect of the Selkirk Post Office theft is described as white, in his 50s, 6ft tall with a skinny build, blond hair and wearing a black, possibly leather, jacket.

The second man is described as white in his 40s, five foot nine inches tall with a stocky build, balding but with dark hair at the sides, and wearing a dark jumper, jeans and spectacles with sunglasses lenses clipped to them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.