Lothian and Borders Police have arrested 16 people as part of an ongoing operation to tackle the theft of metal and heavy plant equipment.
Operation Adamant was launched following an increase in reports of metal thefts across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scottish Borders.
In the past two weeks, police have carried out high-visibility patrols in areas where plant material is used and stored.
Local community officers have also been on the look out for any suspicious activity around addresses furnished with valuable metal. The main focus of the operation, however, is to prevent metal thefts occurring. Officers have been identifying potentially vulnerable sites to offer the appropriate advice to local residents and businesses.
A police spokesman said: “The theft of metal causes significant damage to properties and can have massive financial implications.
“This was not a one-off operation and Lothian and Borders Police will continue to work alongside our communities to ensure businesses and local residents are equipped with all the necessary information to prevent metal thefts in their area.
“Anyone who is identified as making a financial gain through the theft of metal or plant equipment will be robustly dealt with.”
All of those arrested in connection with the alleged metal thefts have appeared at court.