Police in Devon have urged farmers to step-up security and warned their stolen equipment is being used in attacks on petrol stations.

The warning comes after ram raiders used a stolen agricultural forklift vehicle to smash a cash machine from its moorings and steal it from the BP Totnes Cross Filling Station, in Devon.

The attack was carried out early on Monday August 21 and the wall, which the cash machine was attached to, as well as the metal poles that secured the machine to the floor, were destroyed.

Four nights later, on Thursday August 25, thieves attempted to steal a similar agricultural forklift vehicle from a farm near Kingsbridge, but the men were disturbed and fled the scene.

Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement: “Police across South Hams wish to raise awareness regarding the possible theft and subsequent use of farming and agricultural vehicles in the targeting of cash machines, particularly at petrol stations during the night.

“Please help spread the word and make sure efforts are made to better secure farming/building site machinery in order that these vehicles aren’t used to commit further crime.”