A canopy has collapsed onto a forecourt after raiders using a stolen bulldozer bungled an attempt to steal a cash machine in Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland.

Detective inspector Richard Thornton of the Police of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said police received a report at 5:28am that a bulldozer was being used in an attempt to rip an ATM machine from the wall of a petrol station on the Belfast Road, Ballynahinch. A silver-coloured Volkswagen Passat car with a trailer was also reported at the scene.

He said: “Those involved in the attempted theft were reported to have fled the scene, empty handed, but having caused substantial damage to the premises, and to the roof of the forecourt.

“At approximately 6:55am we received a report of a car, matching the description of the Passat reported at the scene, on fire in the Queens Park area of Saintfield.

“I want to appeal to anyone who was travelling on the Belfast Road this morning, between 5:15am and 5:30am, and who saw a Silver Passat, or who believes they saw this car travelling towards Saintfield between 5:30am and 7am to get in touch with us.

“Did you capture footage of this vehicle on your dash cam? If you saw any suspicious activity, including vehicles or persons, in these areas this morning please, pick up the phone and tell us what you know.

“This was a brazen and despicable attack by those involved who have caused serious disruption to the business affected and to its customers. This attack has also caused widespread disruption to people using the Belfast Road, which remains closed as we continue with our enquiries.”

Cash, cigarettes and scratch cards were stolen but the attempt to steal the cash machine failed.

On Wednesday November 20, a man was charged in connection with the raid. Adrian Boyd, 26, of no fixed abode, appeared at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court on a number of charges, including burglary and criminal damage. A police officer said he could connect him to the charges.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call 101, quoting reference numbers 181 of 18/11/19

Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.