DRAMATIC video shows the moment thieves in a stolen Land Rover dragged away a stolen cash machine on a chain – showering sparks across the street.
The gang struck in the quiet Scottish Borders town of Innerleithen in the early hours of today.
Footage from a nearby shop shows the Land Rover turn sharply followed by the ATM on a lengthy piece of chain used to rip it from the wall.
The metal of the cash machine throws up a huge shower of sparks as it is dragged across the road surface.
The raid happened at 4.20am so the streets are mercifully clear of pedestrians as the heavy ATM swings behind the getaway vehicle.
Some cars were damaged, however, along with kerbs, pavements, hedges and walls.
The Premier store in the town’s Caddon Court was the target of the raid and the CCTV was captured about 20 seconds’ drive away by local shopkeeper Martha Gibson.
One lady who lives on the corner of the street and did not wish to be named, said: “We woke up to noise at about 4.20am. My husband went to the back door and there was a car and three guys trying to get out of the shop.
“There was chains attached to the car and the ATM and they were trying to drag it out. The noise was crazy.”
The grey Land Rover with the registration plate SP08 HFA is believed to have been stolen from an address in Bathgate, West Lothian.
The witness added: “They weren’t bothered how many folk were watching them – there was about six or seven people watching by this point.
“It was about half an hour before the police came, I was on the phone to them as it was going on.
“I’ve got two young girls and they are scared, my 10-year-old saw it out the window.”
Police were at the scene this afternoon along with the shop owner and one of his staff members.
The owner, who also did not want to be named, said: “It’s not just the damage, the insurance will hopefully cover that, although that might be a fight.
“But I’ll be lucky if I’m open again by Wednesday so I’m losing three days trade. And I’ll still be paying out wages as I can’t not pay the girls.”
The shop worker, who lives just across the road, also saw and heard the commotion. She explained: “I heard the alarm so I came out and saw them driving off with the ATM on a chain. None of us know any more at the moment.”
Another local added: “I just feel for the shop owner because he’s a great guy trying to give everyone around here what they need and that’s two incidents he’s had now.”
Detective Constable Steven Irvine from the Community Investigation Unit said: “This is a serious crime that has amounted to damage to the premises and local road closures which will unfortunately have an impact on the local community.
“I am keen to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Innerleithen area during the early hours of Monday morning, or who has seen the vehicle since.
“Three men are believed to have been involved in the theft and were seen in the vehicle on Ballantyne Street shortly before the ram-raid.
“Anyone with further information or who can help us identify the persons involved should contact police immediately.”