Robbers use 25 tonne digger to steal Bootle cash machine

A GANG of robbers smashed a 25 tonne digger into a bank and stole a whole cash machine.

Ramraiders pinched the JCB-style digger from United Utilities roadworks on Merton Road, Bootle, and drove it into the wall of a nearby Royal Bank of Scotland at 3.40am this morning.

They then dug the ATM, which could contain up to £100,000, out of the wall with the Komatsu digger’s 3m hydraulic arm and scoop before abandoning it in the street.

The daring gang then drove off in a waiting getaway car with the whole machine including an unknown amount of cash.

Police say “extensive damage” was caused to the building.

Kenny Adderley, from Kirkdale, is a digger driver who was driving past to work.

He said: “They’ve ripped the front of the building right off.

“I drive those type of machines and it’s a 25 tonne excavator.

“It’s someone who knows what he’s doing that’s done this.

“They’re massive machines.

“You could have that building down in three strikes if you wanted to.

“The hole is about 14ft wide by 10ft to 12ft high.

“The digger’s left halfway on the side of the footpath and halfway in the building.”

Structural engineers are due to examine the bank building today to see if it will have to be knocked down for safety reasons.

cctv footage is being looked at this morning to try to identify the thieves and their getaway vehicle.

Merton Road was closed between its junction with Litherland Road and Hawthorne Road to allow for forensic examination of the JCB and the crime scene.

Cash machines are regularly targeted by thieves looking for a big haul.

On Christmas Eve 2005, a gang smashed their way into a Barclays bank in Crosby and stole a cash machine which had been restocked for last minute Christmas shopping.

In March a man who tried to force his way into the back of a cash machine in Ormskirk was sent to jail four years.

Back in January an armed robber from Huyton was given four years for threatening a cash machine user in Dovecot with a fake pistol.

Detectives are urging anyone with information to call them on 0151 777 3165 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.