Watch masked thieves fail to rob cash machine

Despite being heavily armed, the men were thwarted by the security bars on the ATM

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Are these the most inept thieves ever?

A group of masked men have been foiled after they attempted to rob a cash machine at a Co-op store in Manchester.

The robbers struck after a security van arrived to make a cash drop-off at the shop in Middleton, Greater Manchester.

They group were heavily armed with a meat cleaver, a small samurai sword, a sledge hammer and an axe.

After threatening the security guards, the men failed to break through the security bars on the ATM and left empty-handed.

The thieves fled from the scene in a stolen silver Volkswagen Golf fitted with fake registration plates. The vehicle was later found abandoned in Middleton.

The incident happened at around 12.25pm on 15 January and was captured on the store’s CCTV camera.

The footage of the botched robbery shows terrified shoppers getting pushed out of the way as the men entered the store, while other witnesses flee for safety. Police are now appealing for witnesses.

Detective Constable Charles Stewart said, "Although these four men did not succeed in stealing any cash, make no mistake this gang were absolutely intent on causing as much fear and intimidation as possible."

"They were armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons and although they were foiled by the shop's security measures, they are clearly dangerous individuals and we need to catch them."

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111