POLICE are appealing for information after explosives were used by thieves to blow up a cash machine and then steal thousands of pounds.

The ATM at Co-op supermarket in Racecourse Road, Pershore was targeted just after midnight on Friday, January 11.

Three thieves cut through the metal roller shutter and an explosive was used to blow open the ATM, from which thousands of pounds were stolen.

The three offenders were in a vehicle described as a black Mercedes, police said.

A spokesman for the Co-op said: “There was an incident at our Pershore store in the early hours of the morning on Friday, January 11 when the community’s ATM was attacked.

"Police are investigating, and we appeal for anyone with information who may recall seeing or hearing anything to come forward.”

The Co-op said it implements a range of measures and invests in the latest technology in order to deter and disrupt criminal behaviour, and to increase the likelihood of convictions.

A spokesman from Cardtronics who own the ATM said: "We know how important it is for local communities to be able to access cash. So, I am pleased to advise that we have completed our security evaluation and we are aiming to have the machine reinstalled during March.

As with all of our machines, we will be protecting the new device with technology from our ‘Secure ATM’ initiative which includes anti-attack technology and forensic tracing capabilities such as SmartWater, a traceable gel that can track a criminal for up to 5 years after an attack. The net is closing in on criminals who attack our machines; in 2018 we helped law enforcement offices catch and convict over 130 criminals and secure over 300 years in prison sentences. So, whoever attacked this machine should know that chances are very high they will be caught and convicted.”

The same Co-op was also broken into in 2016 with thieves attempting to steal cash from the ATM.

The intruders forced their way into the shop, through the metal shutters, before they activated the alarm and smoke blanket and fled.

Anyone with information on the incident on January 11 should call police on 101 and quote the reference 8-S-110119.

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