EXPLOSIVE: The Santander cash machine in Epping this morning
POLICE are not linking a brazen bid to get a cash machine from a bank by exploding it out with gas to a spate of similar raids across East Anglia. The explosion at the Santander bank branch opposite the former police station in High Road, Epping, Essex, came less than a month after a ram raid to get a cash point from the Tesco Express store in Coppice Row in nearby Theydon Bois. In the latest raid in Epping, Essex Police said it believes two men used a gas to create an explosion to blow the machine from the wall at about 3:30am today. Officers said it was not yet clear whether the thieves got away with any money from the machine, however the attempt caused "significant damage." No-one was hurt, and a cordon remained in place today.
SHOCKING: The scene of the ram raid at Theydon Bois in October
At around 4.30am on October 26 a passing resident caught this staggering image of the damage to the Tesco Express in Theydon that had just been hit. The red Manitou digger appeared to have mounted the pavement, before smashing into the wall and removing the cash machine. At 2.45am on August 7 in Halstead, north Essex, a vehicle was used to destroy the wall of the Co-op in Colchester Road, Halstead, to get its cash machine.
HOLE IN THE WALL: The Co-op in Halstead is trashed
On July 29 in the early hours the same Tesco Express was hit 20 minutes before a cash machine was taken from Aldi in Debden in a similar ram raid. Similar raids have been happening in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. However, Essex Police has yet to link the Epping raid to any of the others. A spokesman said: "At this stage we do not believe this is linked to any other attempted ATM theft. "It is believed two men used gas to create an explosion in an attempt to take the ATM. "The Coppice Row investigation is still ongoing."