Robbers who smashed through the front of a Leighton Buzzard bank using a JCB fled from the scene empty handed, police have said.
At around 3am this morning robbers used an excavator to plough through the front of Santander, on Hockliffe Street, in an attempt to lift an ATM machine.
However nothing was taken from the bank.
Hockliffe Street remains closed while officers carry out investigations at the scene.
Detective Sergeant Tom Hamm, investigating, said: “We believe at least four offenders were involved in this audacious attempt to retrieve an ATM. “Fortunately they were unsuccessful and fled the scene empty-handed along North Street, in what is believed to be either an Audi or a BMW.
“We have a number of officers working to help find those responsible, and we’re calling on the public to help us.”
He added: “The JCB is believed to have been stolen recently in Leighton Buzzard, and to see one being driven around late at night is quite unusual so if you have witnessed this recently we’d encourage you to get in touch.
“We’re also appealing for business and home owners in the vicinity of the incident who have their own CCTV to send it in to us, in the hope it may have captured those responsible.”
During the raid a significant amount of damage was also caused to Oliver Hare & Co, a restaurant which sits opposite the bank.
It appears the digger, which is still on the scene, was backed into the 17th century listed building.
Oliver Hare & Co manager William Richards told the LBO: “We’ve got a door shaped hole in our wall.
“At 7am I got a phone call, rushed down here, had a look and was quite horrified.
“We’ve had to ring around and cancel our our bookings for the week so we’ve lost quite alot of trade and money.”
A Santander spokesperson told the LBO: “The branch is currently closed and the police are managing the incident.
“We can confirm that no money was lost during this incident.
“We understand the closure of the branch may inconvenience our customers, and we would ask them to use online, mobile or telephone banking for any urgent requirements they have, whilst the branch is closed.”
> Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 34 of today’s date