AUDACIOUS thieves made off with a ‘large amount’ of money after ripping out the cash machine at a Malmesbury supermarket, over the bank holiday weekend.

Police are hunting seven people who broke-in to the Waitrose store and spent about 20 minutes at the scene, shortly after midnight on Monday.

The gang entered the car park in three vehicles, believed to be a Volkswagen Golf, Isuzu Trooper and a Citroen panel van, before pulling up outside one of the large, double glazed windows at the front of the store.

After smashing the glass they placed a long metal chain around the ATM and used one of the vehicles to pull it out of its fixture.

The suspects then took a large amount of cash from the ATM, before dumping the machine.

They left the car park in convoy and travelled north on the A429.

Mary Dodd, a Malmesbury resident who was shopping in Waitrose the following morning, said: “The atmosphere inside the store was rather shocked and subdued, both customers and staff alike. 

“The cash machine was on the floor outside, in pieces. 

“There was a huge long chain attached, clearly from where it was pulled out of the building.

“The whole window was broken and the frame buckled outward from where the machine was pulled out. There was glass everywhere, inside and out. 

“Nobody could understand who would do such a thing on Easter Sunday.”

John Judkins, branch manager, said: “There was a burglary on Monday where they used vehicles to remove the ATM.

Wiltshire Police were very prompt, they were on the scene in a matter of minutes.

“It’s been very good service from them.”

Detective Sergeant Catherine Kirkham of Wiltshire Police said: “A dog unit attended the scene when we received the report and carried out a search of the building but there was no trace of any offenders. 

“The scene was cordoned off to allow CSI officers to carry out a thorough investigation. 

“Extensive damage has been caused to the windows of the store, as well as the interior. 

“We are carrying out an investigation and would like to hear from anyone who may have seen these vehicles arriving or leaving the Waitrose store around midnight, or anyone who may have information which could help us identify those responsible.” 

Call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, with information.