Police say they believe thieves abandoned plans to open a cash machine stolen during a ram raid at a shop in an Essex village because it was bigger than expected.
The ATM was taken after a forklift truck was driven through the window of McColls Newsagents on the High Street in Roydon on Wednesday.
However the machine wasn`t broken into and the money remains inside.
It was found on the edge the village alongside a red Toyota pick truck it was loaded onto and a white Kia car which the thieves are thought have used.
The truck, the car and the forklift were all stolen in the days leading up to the raid.
Detective Inspector Greg Wood said: “We have found that the Hilux was right down on its suspension and probably struggled to carry the ATM. It now seems likely that the thieves just dumped the pick-up and car because they realised they could not get far before being caught by police.
“Another factor is that they were probably spooked because so many local people were woken up and they realised police were on the way.
“We are extremely grateful to all those witnesses who dialled 999 and gave us running commentaries of what was going on, good descriptions of the men and the registration numbers of the vehicles involved.”