Raiders have blown up a cash machine (ATM) on a forecourt in Lincolnshire, and stolen about £16,000.

The attack on the ATM took place late on the evening of Thursday October 11 at the Jet service station at Main Road, Tallington.

Police called to the incident at 11:19pm, but the raiders had fled with the cash by the time they arrived.

Inspector Ian Martin of Stamford CID said: “The crooks used a gas canister or a similar device to blow up the cashpoint machine. This is a method used nationally.

“This is clearly a very serious crime. We are doing everything we can to catch the gang.”

He explained: “This was a professional raid. The criminals knew exactly what they were doing and they were very quick getting in and out.

“We are not linking this offence to any other crimes at the moment but it could also turn out to be part of a pattern.”

The inspector said police were on the scene within 10 minutes of the alarm being raised, but the gang had already fled.

He added: “We were told that they sped off towards Stamford but our officers didn’t pass any other vehicles so they had already turned off.

“We are now studying CCTV footage taken by cameras at both the garage and the pub. We’ll try to plot their escape route by talking to as many witnesses as we can.

“There was £16,090 in the ATM altogether and although some of the money blew away the gang got away with a substantial haul of cash.”