Thieves have blown up a cash machine four months after a similar raid obliterated an ATM in the same town.
Police believe the suspects filled the machine outside Heron Foods on Cockerton Green, Darlington, with gas and ignited it before making off with an unknown quantity of cash at around 1.40am on Wednesday.
The same method was used in October on a cashpoint outside Matalan in Darlington and Detective Inspector Sharon Alderson, from Durham Constabulary, said: "Inquiries are ongoing to determine if the two incidents are linked."
DI Alderson said no-one was injured in the latest incident and appealed for witnesses. Anyone with any information should call Durham Constabulary on 101.