Vandals endangered the lives of Lanarkians in the early hours of Friday by setting fire to a gas main near the centre of town.
Police say that, shortly after 1am, they were alerted to reports of a fire near to the Harry Smith Complex, off Woodstock Road in Thomas Taylor Avenue.
Upon their arrival, officers were informed by firefighters already at the scene that a gas main had been deliberately set alight.
As a precaution, officers closed nearby roads until the area was deemed safe.
Said a Police Scotland spokesman this week: “Significant damage has been caused as a result of the fire, and inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.
“This was a reckless act which could have had serious consequences for the emergency services and the wider public.
“Anyone with information regarding persons being in the area on the evening of Thursday, December 8, into the early hours of Friday, December 9, is urged to contact Police Scotland on the 101 number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 in confidence.”
It is understood by the Gazette that CCTV camera footage from outside the leisure centre is being studied by police in an attempt to identify those responsible.
Police are also investigating a spate of break-ins targeting outbuildings, garages and sheds.
One of the latest incidents occured sometime overnight on Tuesday, December 6, to Wednesday, December 7, when a shed in the garden of a home in Eastend Terrace, Carstairs, was broken into.
Items taken included a quantity of tools, among them a Mig welder and snap-on spanners.
There was also a case of vandalism in High Mill Road, Carluke, some time on the night of Sunday, December 11, when a van’s windscreen was smashed.