Another cash machine blown up as thieves strike again

Updated: 

Thieves have blown up a cash machine four months after a similar raid obliterated an ATM in the same town.

The latest incident happened at 1.40am outside the Heron Foods store on Cockerton Green, Darlington.

Police believe the suspects filled the free-standing machine with gas and ignited it to cause an explosion.

They then made off with an unknown quantity of cash.

It was the same method as raiders used in October on a cashpoint outside Matalan in Darlington.

The Heron Foods store, which is close to a busy roundabout, was closed and its front cordoned off after the theft.

Components from the cash machine were strewn on the floor, but there was much less obvious damage to surrounding structures than the previous blast at Matalan.

This was the scene when thieves blew up an ATM at the Matalan store in Darlington in October (Tom Wilkinson/PA)
This was the scene when thieves blew up an ATM at the Matalan store in Darlington in October (Tom Wilkinson/PA)

Detective Inspector Sharon Alderson, from Durham Constabulary, said: "Nobody was injured during the incident.

"However, it has caused significant damage to the cash machine.

"A cordon remained in place this morning while we conducted our enquiries."

The Heron Foods store was closed (Tom Wilkinson/PA)
The Heron Foods store was closed (Tom Wilkinson/PA)

She added: "In October last year, a cash machine on Neasham Road was targeted in a similar way.

"Enquiries are ongoing to determine if the two incidents are linked.

"We would like to appeal to anyone who may have seen or heard anything in the Cockerton area of Darlington in the early hours of this morning to come forward."

It is understood that a car was seen leaving the scene at the time of the incident.

Anyone with any information should call Durham Constabulary on 101.