A cash machine outside Johnsons of Reepham was stolen in the early hours of Wednesday 25 April.
Smash-and-grab thieves struck just after 3.30 am with what is understood to be a “teleporter” (a type of forklift, more like a crane as it can extend forwards and upwards, enabling it to manoeuvre over the top of obstacles such as security bollards).
The ATM from outside the building was stolen before it was loaded onto what is believed to be a flat-bed truck.
The vehicle was reported stolen from a property in North Tuddenham and was set alight after the ram raid and abandoned in the middle of the road.
Firefighters from Aylsham and Reepham were despatched to extinguish the blaze.
No one was injured as a result of the incident and parts of the Market Place were cordoned off and closed for several hours while police continued with their enquiries.
Douglas Johnson, who manages the shop and post office, had only one word to say: “Gutted!”
Alex Harper, who lives in Church Street, said he was awoken with what he thought sounded like a drunk crashing into cars.
Looking out his window he saw the flashing orange light on top of the teleporter, which was then driven into the post office wall, followed by the vehicle being torched by the thieves.
The post office remained open while investigations were carried out; however, the shop was closed during the forensic investigation. The Royal Mail vans and postal workers were operating temporarily off-site.
An alternative cash machine is situated outside the Spar in Ollands Road.
Police have launched an investigation following the ram raid and are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has information concerning it.
Witnesses should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting reference 36/24189/18.
The cash machine at Johnsons was installed in early 2017 following the closure of Reepham’s last bank, HSBC, in October 2015.
This is the second ATM stolen from the Market Place in recent years after a similar incident in May 2012 outside the former bank building.
The thieves, who left a gaping hole in the wall and a pile of rubble outside the bank, escaped by puncturing the tyres of two patrol cars parked outside the police station across the market square.
In March 2015 five men who stole more than £400,000 following a string of ram raids and burglaries across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire in 2012, including the ATM in Reepham, were jailed for a total of 22 years.
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