Seventeen houses were evacuated and explosives experts called in following a burglary at a Texaco petrol station in Warrington.
Police were called to investigate a burglary at the site on Chester Road, which is currently being renovated, at 1.30am on November 30.
Inside they found major damage to the roof of the building and the ATM machine had been tampered with.
The officers were aware of a strong smell inside the premises and called in Cheshire Fire and Rescue and the Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.
A 100-metre cordon was established around the site and 17 houses nearby were evacuated.
However, just before 8am the premises were declared safe by the EOD and residents were allowed to return home.
Cheshire Police then established a crime scene at the premises and began an investigation into the burglary.
Police are appealing for witnesses and asking anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously or who saw anyone entering the premises on late on Friday night or very early on Saturday morning to contact them on the 101 number and refer to incident 87 of 30th November.
Cheshire Police thanked residents and local businesses who had been inconvenienced or assisted in this incident for their patience and cooperation.