Explosives experts were scrambled to a service station in Lancashire to check out a device inserted into an ATM in a failed attempt to blow it up.
The incident, at the Texaco Service Station on Burnley Road, Padiham, began at about 1am on Tuesday September 24.
Thieves pulled up at the site and inserted an incendiary device and a cloth into the cash machine which then exploded and caught fire.
They then tried to put the fire out before fleeing empty handed in a black estate, believed to be an Audi A4 with the number plates removed.
After the incident was reported to police they cordoned off the site and called in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team to check the device and ensure the area was safe.
Detective inspector Andy Horne of East CID said: “We are treating this incident extremely seriously and have a team of investigators carrying out a number of specialist enquiries to try to identify the people responsible.
“We are grateful to our friends from the EOD for attending and ensuring the area was safe for us to carry out our investigations, and we have also shared information with industry partners so they can take appropriate action.
“We need the public’s help as they are our eyes and ears. They could have information which helps us identify those responsible for this offence and they can help by reporting any other suspicious activity around banks or ATMs.
“I would urge anyone with information to contact us.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log number 0849 of September 24 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.