Local police will seek to establish if an attempted cash point raid in Durham has connections with a similar case in Hartlepool.
Six men were arrested, including five apparently caught in the act of stealing a cash machine, from a Co-Op store in Corbridge, County Durham in the early hours of Friday, January 8.
Cleveland Police say detectives will liaise with colleagues in the Durham force area to see if it linked in any way with an attempted raid on a cash machine at Tesco Express store, Wiltshire Way, Hartlepool, on November 25.
In that case, a stolen JCB was used to try to steal the ATM causing substantial damage and a 31-year-old man was later arrested after a car chase to Trimdon.
Other suspects made off in a Land Rover which was found abandoned and on fire in nearby Worset Lane a short time later. No money was stolen but the shop remained closed for several days due to the structural damage.
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “We were already liaising with police in Durham in connection with other ATM robberies and will be continuing to liaise with them to see if there are any similarities to the Hartlepool incident.
Will be continuing to liaise to see if there are any similarities to the Hartlepool incidentCleveland Police spokesman
“We have one man currently on bail pending further inquiries, however, we believe that there may be others who are still outstanding.”
Durham Constabulary say the arrests of the six men in Corbridge follow a spate of ATM thefts across the North East late last year, by what police believe to be an organised criminal group.
All were arrested on suspicion of burglary and are in custody at police stations in Northumbria.
Supt Andy Huddleston, of Durham Constabulary, said: “We arrested several men who were in the act of carrying out a serious crime and we believe this incident to be connected with similar attempts on ATMs in our area in the last few months.”
Anyone with information about the Hartlepool raid should contact Detective Sergeant Neil Crawthorne at the Major Crime Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.