Cash machine stolen in devastating ram raid at Halstead Co-op
This dramatic scene captures the aftermath of a ram raid after a cash machine was stolen at a Co-op food store in Halstead this week.
The Co-operative store in Colchester Road is the latest shop to be targeted in a spate of ram raids across Suffolk and Essex.
Police were alerted to the incident by a member of the public at about 2.45am on Tuesday.
Witnesses reported seeing a group of men - between five and eight - wearing dark clothing, near the cash machine.
The cash machine has since been recovered along with three vehicles which are thought to have been involved in the incident
Officers are keen to trace the driver of a Mitsubishi Shogun which had been seen in the area at the time.
Detective Inspector Rob Kirby, from Braintree CID, said: “Once the building has been made safe by Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, we will be able to carry out a forensic examination of the scene.
“We are working to establish whether any money was stolen from the recovered ATM.
“We’re also keeping an open mind as to whether this is linked to other incidents which appear to have similarities.
“Thank you to members of the public who have assisted us so far.
“If you have any information which could help us further, please contact my team of detectives.”
The supermarket remains closed while a forensic examination is carried out.
A spokesman from the Co-op, said: “We appeal for anyone with information to come forward. We work closely with police and other crime prevention bodies, and implement a range of safety and security measures designed to deter and disrupt criminal activity, and increase the likelihood of convictions.
“It is too early to confirm further details, or indicate when we will be able to re-open to serve the community.”
A Co-op branch in Weavers Court, Halstead, was targeted in a ram raid last November when a gang of thieves stole a free standing cash machine after crashing two vehicles into the front of the store.
Following a spate of similar ram raids across Suffolk and Essex, an investigation into the incidents was launched last year.
Anyone with information relating to the most recent incident is asked to contact Braintree CID on 101.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.