On Saturday 28th of October, the Co-op food store was targeted by offenders who tried to get access to the ATM within the store. In the process of forcing it open, the criminals damaged both the interior and exterior of the building and the machine itself.
At least three local residents reported being woken by a loud explosion.
A spokesperson for Central England Co-operative said: ‘Work has been undertaken to ensure that the building is structurally secure. We thank customers and colleagues for their support and patience during this time.’
The police reported that the incident took place at about 3.30 am. They said: ‘The offenders caused significant damage to the cash machine and stole a quantity of cash.’
The Northants Fire department reported on Twitter that oxy acetylene gas had been ‘piped into ATM machine and ignited to allow criminals access to cash inside’.
This is not the first time that Oundle’s cash machines have been targeted. In 2010 the Co-op’s ATM was smashed and removed with a stolen fork lift.
In 2011 the cash machine at Barclays suffered the same fate and was removed with a JCB digger. In 2016 the cash machine at Waitrose was destroyed.
These smash and grab incidents fit into a larger trend that is targeting cash machines, and Co-ops in particular. In October alone there were five other reported incidents.
On the 2nd of October a cash machine at a Co-op in Cumbria was stolen with the use of a digger.
In Saint Helens on the 3rd of October, three men used explosives to gain access to the cash machine attached to McColl’s Newsagents. They then appeared to have driven off in a silver Honda Civic.
On the 4th another Co-op food store’s ATM was hit in Crick. The offenders used gas canisters to blow the machine up and accessed the cash boxes through the use of crowbars.
On the 13th in Humberside, another Co-op cash machine was reported stolen by thieves with a JCB digger.
In Lancashire, on the 20th of October, the method used to steal the cash machine was the same, and the ATM was once again at a Co-op food store chain.