Detectives have appealed for information after a cash machine was stolen from a shop at an Essex village early today, Wednesday September 16.
The McColl’s newsagent store in High Street Roydon was extensively damaged when a forklift truck was driven through the front window at 2am.
The Manitoba forklift vehicle was then used to remove the cash machine and load it on to a waiting red pick-up truck.
Up to four men were believed to have been involved in the incident. Officers are investigating reports that some of them were carrying knives.
They left the scene in a Toyota Hilux pick-up and a white Kia Sportage car, both of which were later found to have been stolen.
Essex Police officers were first on scene at 2.12am and sent a situation report to controllers before starting an area search for the thieves.
Other units helped to extend the search while officers from Hertfordshire took details at the scene of the incident.
During a search of farmland officers found the pick-up truck and Kia car on a farm track on the outskirts of Roydon at 2.50am.The forklift, which had also been stolen, was abandoned in High Street. A section of the road was closed at the scene while police forensic investigations were carried out.
DI Greg Wood said: “An extensive search was started as soon as the first officers arrived on scene. Numerous members of the public called our control room to report what they had seen and this information was relayed to officers searching nearby and to units across the west of the county and in Hertfordshire.
“A number of people were evacuated from flats above the badly damaged building and police officers liaised with the local council emergency planning officers to arrange temporary accommodation for them.
“It seems that the thieves had planned to hide the ATM, truck and car off a farm track but thanks to the information received from the public we were able to find the cash machine and vehicles before the suspects could return.
“We are now seeking information about the movements of the vehicles in the few hours before the burglary, especially the forklift truck which is not the usual sort of vehicle to be seen on public roads late at night.”
Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police or anyone with video, photographs or information about the movements of the forklift, the pick-up and car, should contact officers at Loughton CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Image credit: @PaulWood1961