Raiders target Strichen store cash machine

ATM stolen: Damage at the shop can clearly be seen with shoppers having to use a side door.
ATM stolen: Damage at the shop can clearly be seen with shoppers having to use a side door.

A gang of hooded men used a 4x4 vehicle to rip an ATM out of a village shop at the weekend.

The Co-op store in Strichen was targeted by the men early on Sunday morning.

The raiders were able to get into the Bridge Street shop by using a sledgehammer and then attaching the ATM to a strap fitted to the 4x4 vehicle and then pulling it from the shop.

The shop has been heavily boarded up since the early morning raid but was able to resume trading on Monday, with customers asked to use a side door.

It is understood there were two cars involved in the robbery with police now investigating the incident. They say it is too early to determine how much money was in the machines at the time.

A police spokesman said: “It is strongly believed that a silver Ford Galaxy, registration LW05 MFK and a dark blue Land Rover, registration UIW 1214 were used in the incident. One of the vehicles was recovered in the New Pitsligo area a short time later.

“At the time of the incident a group of around three to five people wearing hooded jumpers were seen at the Co-Op and Police are keen to trace those involved. “

The ATM machine involved could have potentially had thousands of pounds in cash within it.

One Strichen resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Herald that they had heard a loud bang.

“There was a really loud bang outside. I didn’t think much of it at first but when I had a look outside there were two cars driving away.”

Debris from the incident was clearly visible on Bridge Street on Monday morning.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative said: “We can confirm that in the early hours of Sunday intruders entered The Co-operative Food store in Bridge Street, Strichen, and stole an ATM machine.

“CCTV footage has been passed to police and, as with any incident such as this, we would urge anyone with information to come forward.”

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5 700 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111