UPDATE: Thieves use ‘rope or chain’ to pull cash machine free from petrol station

JPCT 180612 Incident at Mannings Heath. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 180612 Incident at Mannings Heath. Photo by Derek Martin

Thieves used a vehicle to break into a Mannings Heath petrol station and rip out a cash machine from inside early this morning (Monday June 18).

Officers at Horsham police believe the suspects tied either a rope or chain around the cash machine and used a vehicle to pull it free from within the shop, bursting it through entrance doors and onto the forecourt.

The incident took place at Elite Garages on Brighton Road at 1.20am this morning.

Police and the forecourt manager were alerted to the situation after the alarm activated.

Sgt Chris O’Leary, of Horsham police, told the County Times: “When we got there officers saw that the garage had been broken into and the stand alone cash machine within the premises had been pulled out but not stolen.

“The metal shutters had been ripped off as had the main doors themselves, causing a considerable amount of damage. They used a vehicle of some description and tied something around the machine - whether it was rope or a chain - and dragged it out.”

The petrol station was cordoned off with police tape this morning as forensics officers gathered evidence.

No cash is believed to have been taken.

Police are searching for ‘at least two suspects’ and have released a witness appeal. Anyone with information can contact Sussex Police on 101.