Cops launch appeal after thieves use digger to steal cash machine

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POLICE have launched an appeal after thieves managed to pull an ATM machine out of a petrol station with a digger.

The robbers managed to make off with the cash machine after loading it into a Ford Transit and fleeing the scene.

The incident happened in the early hours of this morning at a Shell Lychgate garage outside Dargate in Faversham, Kent.

POLICE have launched an appeal after thieves managed to pull an ATM machine out of a petrol station with a digger - Police News UK
The thieves caused extensive damage to the exterior of the station.

Photos of the scene were then shared onto social media by Kent Police.

In one picture, a massive gaping hole can be seen from where the cash machine was nicked.

The cladding surrounding the machine is distorted and misshapen, loose bricks can also be seen laying on the station forecourt.

The CAT digger used to steal the machine was left at the scene, and a picture shared by police shows the large yellow machinery sitting beside the service station.

POLICE have launched an appeal after thieves managed to pull an ATM machine out of a petrol station with a digger - Police News UK
The digger used was then left at the scene.

Thieves managed to load the machine onto the back of a grey flatbed Ford Transit and left the scene in convoy with a Mitsubishi Shogun.

Police suspect the incident to be linked with the recent attempted theft on a cash machine from a nearby Tesco on Sunday morning .

Both offences are being investigated by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

POLICE have launched an appeal after thieves managed to pull an ATM machine out of a petrol station with a digger - Police News UK
Pictured: Shell Lychgate

Since cops shared images of the incident this morning, Facebook users have been shocked at the theft.

Tracey Burr Lammin said: “How the hell did they do this when the garage is staffed 24 hours a day?”

Casey Raggett posted: “Another one!”

POLICE have launched an appeal after thieves managed to pull an ATM machine out of a petrol station with a digger - Police News UK
Social media users could not believe their eyes.

Wayne Murray commented: “The vehicle description sounds like the ones that done the Dover Tesco a little while ago now.”

According to security organisation Safercash, ATM theft rose from 400 per year in 2014 to a whopping 841 in 2018.