Ram raiders used a stolen flatbed truck to break into a Sussex petrol station and rip out a cash machine from inside early yesterday morning (Monday June 18).

The incident took place at Top 50 Indie Elite Garages’ site on Brighton Road in Mannings Heath at 1.20am yesterday morning. Police and the forecourt manager were alerted after the alarm activated.

Police officers believe the raiders tied either a rope or chain around the cash machine and used a truck to pull it free from within the shop, bursting it through entrance doors and onto the forecourt.

Detective Sergeant David Morton said: “It would appear that an ATM in the garage shop was the intended target. This has been dragged from the premises causing considerable damage, but it is not believed at this stage that they succeeded in removing any cash from it.

“A white flatbed lorry was seen driving away from the scene south along the A281 soon after the incident. It had a Hiab-style crane on the rear and loose chains were dragging on the road causing sparks. A stolen vehicle matching this description was discovered a few miles away later on that day.”

Sussex Police would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident, saw the suspected vehicle in the area around the time, or has any other information about the raid. Please call Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 63 of 18/06 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.