Hawkhurst and Maidstone cash machine ram raids linked

Hawkhurst ram raid scene
Image caption The BP petrol station in Rye Road, Hawkhurst, was the first to be targeted

Two attempted ram raids at a petrol station and motorway services area in Kent are believed to have been carried out by the same gang, police have said.

Officers were called to a BP station in Rye Road, Hawkhurst at 0113 GMT on Wednesday, where raiders had attacked a cash machine with a chainsaw.

When police arrived they had fled and were last seen heading towards Sandhurst and the Sussex border.

Another machine was later targeted at Maidstone services on the M20.

Four men in a grey Cherokee Jeep smashed into the building and tried to remove the machine.

But they abandoned the raid and escaped in the vehicle across a field towards Hollingbourne.

Police believe the same Jeep was used in both raids and have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

"It's thought the Jeep may have been around the Kino Cinema in Hawkhurst a couple of hours before the first attack and those leaving the cinema at 2230 GMT could possibly have seen the vehicle," said Det Con Adrian Grew.

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