An ATM that was ripped off the wall at a Texaco site in Odiham, Hampshire, has been unearthed by a farmer in his field.

According to Farmers Weekly, the arable farmer was out working in his combine harvester when he found the damaged ATM hidden, under a coat in a hedge on the farm near Basingstoke. He called the police and when they arrived they confirmed that the cash machine had been ripped off the wall of a Mace store at the Texaco site in Dunley’s Hill.

Apparently thieves had stolen a big digger from a building site, driven it 200m up a hill, then through a field onto a road, then into the forecourt. Reports say they used an angle grinder to break through the ATM’s steel casing to get to the £56,000 inside. The farmer said there was nothing left in it when he found it except an old pair of gloves.

He said he also found a disc from an angle grinder, now thought to have been used in the theft, on another part of the farm a couple of days before he discovered the ATM.

Police have said that the ram raid in Odiham is being linked to a number of similar cash machine thefts across the county.

PC Andy Reid, area beat commander for Basingstoke Rural South, told Farmers Weekly: “We are experiencing big problems with thieves stealing Manitou telehandlers and tractors with front loaders and using them against cash machines.

“We would urge every farmer and landowner to take steps to prevent the theft of farm machinery, which is then used by gangs to commit crimes.”