An eyewitness has revealed how he witnessed a dramatic raid at a Derbyshire shop in which thieves used a JCB to steal a cash machine from a convenience store.
He says he saw at least three men who used three vehicles and a piece of heavy machinery to grab the cash machine from the Co-op on Chesterfield Road in Duckmanton in the early hours of Friday morning.
The witness said it appeared to be a planned operation - claiming the robbers had prepared for the heist by cutting out the top of a van before the raid.
He said they then used the JCB telehandler to quickly drop the cash machine in their getaway vehicle.
They then sped off towards the M1 and Bolsover, the witness told the Derbyshire Times.
The man, who asked not to be named, lives close to the scene of the devastation and revealed how the drama unfolded.
There were three perpetrators hanging around, all with hoodies on, all male. I saw somebody driving that digger attempting to lift the cash machine outRam raid eyewitness
“I got awoken at about quarter to four with a digger and a crashing noise,” he said. “I knew instantly what was going off. It was quite noisy because even though it’s a busy road it’s quiet at night.
“I jumped out of bed grabbed my phone and ran up to the top floor and rang the police.
“There were three perpetrators hanging around, all with hoodies on, all male. I saw somebody driving that digger attempting to lift the cash machine out. There was a white Vauxhall Vivaro van, and they had cut the roof out so they could drop it in the top.”
The crew also used a high-powered Audi RS8 car as a lookout along the road, said the witness.
He added: “He was driving up and down, spotting. I could tell what it was because you can hear the V8.
“They reversed the van back, he took two of the guys who dropped the cash machine inside and then they drove off towards Bolsover.”
It is believed the thieves acquired the JCB telehandler from a nearby construction site at Markham Vale.
Said the witness:: “They must have known there was some construction going on so they nicked the digger. They’re not very fast and they’re quite noisy, but they wouldn’t have needed to move it more than 200 yards.”
Officers at the scene did not comment on the raid but there was a police car at the construction site. Forensics officers said they were waiting for the crime scene to be made safe before starting their analysis.
A source said they were hindered by the dangerous environment of the caved-in ceiling and hanging electricity cables.
He added: “We can’t do anything until the structural engineer and electrician get here.”
Trev Stanley, 62, a gardener who was working along Chesterfield Road on Friday morning, said: “They’ve done a good job of that wall, it’s a right mess.
“We’ve never had anything like this happen around here before, to my knowledge.”