Hunt for gang who raided Simonstone cash machine

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Detectives are hunting a gang of thieves who made off with thousands of pounds after smashing their way into a cash machine at a Simonstone petrol station.

The incident happened at 1 a.m. on Thursday, April 7th at Texaco Kams Service Station in Whalley Road.

They approached an adjoining building to the garage forecourt and used a crowbar to force their way in before using an angle grinder to cut through the lock and access the ATM.

They escaped with the cash in a car thought to be an Audi or BMW saloon.

Police believe four people got into the car, driven by a fifth offender, in the direction of Burnley.

Owner and manager of the petrol station Mrs Catherine Turner said that the theft was the latest in a series of incidents.

Two years ago it was targeted by armed robbers.

“There have been a lot of incidents, some of them attempts,” she said.

“The other month someone cut through the phone lines. You just start to feel quite vulnerable really. I think a substantial amount of money was taken but it’s not my cash machine so I don’t know.”

Det. Sgt Nigel Watson, from Ribble Valley CID, appealed for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time of the burglary to contact police on 01254 51212 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.