Thieves have used a forklift truck to pull a cash machine from the wall of a convenience store.

Three robbers wearing balaclavas left the Co-op store in Annan Road, Gretna badly damaged when they used an industrial Manitou forklift to forcibly remove the ATM from the wall at around 2.45am on Thursday.

The three robbers escaped in a stolen silver coloured Vauxhall Vectra motor car, which had been adapted to fit the ATM in the boot, heading along Surrone Road onto Loanwath Road.

It is understood the forklift was stolen from a nearby farm before the incident.

The ATM is believed to contain a five figure sum of cash.

There were no staff in the building at the time of the robbery but the shop remains closed while the damage is assessed.

Police are appealing for information about the incident in the Dumfries and Galloway town.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Burnie said: “Enquiries are at an early stage to trace the individuals involved in this reckless incident and I am appealing for members of the public to come forward with any information that could assist our investigation.

“Detectives are currently carrying out extensive enquiries including examining CCTV and speaking to local residents. I would ask anyone living in the area who saw or heard anything suspicious, and is yet to speak to police, to please get in touch.

“I would appeal to anyone who saw a forklift or a silver Vectra car in the area in the early hours of this morning to please get in touch.

“I would also ask any motorists with dashcams, or residents with CCTV, to check in case they have captured any footage which could be of significance.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dumfries CID via 101, quoting incident number 0246 of Thursday September 20, 2018 or call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111 where details can be given in confidence.

A Co-op spokesman added: “We can confirm that an incident involving an attack on the ATM machine occurred at our Gretna store on Annan Road during the early hours of the morning (Thursday 20 September).

“Fortunately no store colleagues were present but the store remains closed whilst we assess the damage.

“We’d like to apologise to the local community for the inconvenience caused by this incident. The Co-op takes retail crime very seriously and implements a wide range of measures to deter criminal activity and aid convictions.

“We appeal for anyone with information to come forward to the police.”