MASKED raiders who smashed a bank wall to steal a cashpoint machine in the early hours of Thursday were right under the “nose” of a CCTV camera.
Police confirmed on Monday the camera “did capture the incident” but say they are not releasing pictures at this stage.
At least four men wearing balaclavas or hoods attacked Barclays Bank in Market Place, Long Sutton, at 2.17am.
They used a stolen Claas teleporter from Sutton St James and then loaded the inner cashbox on to the back of a 4x4 pick-up before making a clean get-away.
There was a copycat raid only one minute later just over nine miles away at the HSBC bank in Cornhill, Wisbech, involving five men wearing balaclavas.
But they fled empty handed – leaving a JCB and a 4x4 at the scene.
Police in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire are working together as they believe the raids may be linked.
Lincolnshire Police have asked witnesses to contact them and have also appealed to farmers to check isolated land holdings because the Long Sutton raiders are likely to have ditched their getaway vehicle and the stolen part of the cashpoint.
The cashpoint casing, bricks and glass were strewn on the pavement and road outside the bank.
Workmen are trying to repair the listed building so it can reopen later this week, but Barclays say there will be a delay before the ATM is replaced.
Long Sutton Parish Council chairman John Clarey is “absolutely amazed” that a raid like that could take place in the centre of town when one of two South Holland CCTV cameras is on the bank wall or the building next to it – and so many people live in nearby flats.
Earlier this year his parish council temporarily stopped its payment for the official camera scheme because it wanted to know if the cameras were actually working.
Asked if the cameras were recording at the time of the raid, Coun Clarey said: “I don’t know and, to be honest, nobody’s prepared to tell you.”
Coun Clarey says he doesn’t personally know of anyone arrested because of pictures from Long Sutton’s official CCTV cameras, which “watch” Market Place, Market Street, London Road and West Street.
He said the cameras are not monitored as events happen.
Coun Clarey said: “I am in the middle of town and there’s people who live in flats near the bank. It must have been one massive noise when everything fell down. It’s very sad for Long Sutton.”
The council will seek further answers about the cameras and debate the issue at its next meeting.
Coun Clarey said: “We have got to try to get some assurances in place so we can try to reassure residents that Long Sutton is a safe place to be in.”
l Barclays says Long Sutton customers can withdraw cash from the NatWest ATM in the town – the nearest Barclays branches are in Wisbech and Spalding.