'Cheeky' thieves board-up London train station to steal cash machine during morning rush-hour

Eye-witnesses say the cash machine was 'completely destroyed'

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of commuters were left stranded this morning at Enfield Chase station in north London when criminals posing as builders boarded-up the entrance and tried to steal a cash machine.

Police say the thieves were trying to hide their activities by making it look like they were construction workers.

Around 200 commuters discovered what had happened after one of them decided to break through the plywood when the cash machine was found in the ticket hall, "completely destroyed".

Eye-witnesses described how the would-be robbers had used power tools to try and remove the machine but had failed.

Café-owner, Gunter Hollenstein, 53, told the London Evening Standard: "The entrance to the station was boarded-up with plywood but there were no notices, which I thought was rather strange.

"Then I got in touch with British Transport Police and they knew nothing.

"Because nobody knew what was going on, one bloke got so fed-up he pushed his way through the boarded-up entrance and went up onto the platform.

“He looked in the ticket hall and realised that they’d tried to take the cash machine out. They didn’t manage to open the safe, but the cash machine was completely destroyed.

“We figured out that the culprits actually boarded the station up so they wouldn’t get disturbed.”

A Great Northern spokeswoman described what action was taken and said: “Passengers suffered a frustrating start to the week this morning following the break-in at Enfield Chase – a station used by 1.3 million people a year.

“None of our trains were able to stop there until 8am, but our staff worked hard to reopen the station as quickly as possible.

“The Metropolitan police are still on site investigating – alongside our maintenance team – who are assessing the damage which is likely to run into many thousands of pounds.

“The ticket office is closed so we have brought in extra staff to help passengers buy tickets from our ticket machines.”

It has not been confirmed, yet, whether any cash was stolen or not and a forensic officer from British Transport Police has been on the scene looking for clues with investigators analysing CCTV footage.

A police source added: “It looks like a professional job and very cheeky, really.”