Officers investigating a ram raid on a shop in Heathfield believe it may be linked to vehicle thefts and another failed attempt to steal a cash machine elsewhere in East Sussex.
Police say at 12.53am on Thursday (October 10) a light-coloured 4x4, believed to be a Toyota Hilux pick-up, was used to smash into the Jempson’s store in Main Street, Northiam, before an unsuccessful attempt was made to rip out a cash dispenser. The suspects fled empty handed.
Later the same morning, at 2am, a Land Rover Discovery was used in a failed bid to remove an ATM from Balcombe DIY in Hailsham Road, Heathfield, according to police.
A police spokesman says the Discovery, stolen from the Uckfield area overnight on Tuesday/Wednesday (October 8/9), was subsequently found abandoned and on fire several miles away at Possingworth Manor, Blackboys.
The occupants are thought to have escaped in a second Land Rover Discovery. This vehicle was believed to have been stolen during a burglary in Balcombe, near Haywards Heath, earlier in the week.
False number plates were used on the vehicles, police say. In both raids the suspects were men wearing dark clothing and hoods or masks.
Anyone with information about these incidents, or who may have relevant dash-cam or CCTV footage of suspicious vehicles or activity, is asked to contact Sussex Police online or to phone 101, quoting Operation Ebony.
Alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, phone 0800 555 111.