'Ignited gas' used in Darlington cash machine theft

Damaged ATM
Image caption The explosion sounded "like a bomb" a neighbour said

A cash machine has been blown up in Darlington, four months after another one in the town was targeted.

An unknown amount of money was taken after the free-standing machine, outside the Heron Foods store on Cockerton Green, was damaged at about 01:40 GMT.

It is thought the thieves filled it with gas, which was then ignited.

Durham Police said it was investigating whether the two attacks were linked and has appealed for information.

Image caption The explosion caused "significant damage" to the machine

A woman who lives nearby, but did not wish to give her name, told the BBC: "I heard the bang and it sounded like a bomb, so I looked out and couldn't see anything, then after a few minutes I saw two lads pulling at it then they ran off."

Det Insp Sharon Alderson said: "Nobody was injured during the incident. However, it has caused significant damage to the cash machine.

"In October last year, a cash machine on Neasham Road was targeted in a similar way, and inquiries are ongoing to determine if the two incidents are linked."

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