Digger used in Ibstock Co-op cash machine raid

Ibstock ram raid
Image caption A digger was used to ram a wall around the cash machine at the Co-op store in Ibstock

Thieves used a digger to rip out a cash machine at a Leicestershire supermarket.

Police called to the Co-op store in Ashby Road, Ibstock, at 02:50 GMT found the cash machine pulled from the wall.

It is the fifth Co-op store in the county to be raided using heavy duty machinery since October.

An eyewitness said the thieves loaded one of the cash boxes from the machine on to a pickup truck and sped off, followed by two cars.

"I just heard a noise in the early hours. I thought there had been an accident," the witness said.

"I looked out the bedroom window and they were ramming the wall with the digger.

"They obviously had it all weighed up. They knew what they were doing and were off within 10 minutes."

Image caption The gang made off with one of the of cash boxes from the machine
Image copyright Police issue
Image caption CCTV footage shows the moment the machine was ripped from the wall

Police have cordoned off the area around the cash machine but the store remains open to customers.

Three vehicles - a BMW and two pick-up trucks - were seen at the Co-op shortly before the robbery, and later found burnt out at two different locations.

The force is appealing for anyone who saw any of the cars being driven in the local area in the days leading up to the robbery to get in touch.

Image copyright Police issue
Image caption Three vehicles were recorded on CCTV at the store shortly before the robbery took place

A spokeswoman for Central England Co-operative said the company was working closely with police to increase security measures around its cash machines and was reviewing security around all of its stores.

Leicestershire Police said they were not ruling out the possibility that the incidents in recent months may be linked.

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