ARSONISTS set fire to a cash machine following a robbery attempt in the early hours of this morning, Friday.

The incident involved a cash machine located outside of Waitrose supermarket on London Road and happened at 1.37am.

One fire engine was dispatched to the scene from Northwich Fire Station after receiving reports of smoke coming out of the machine.

This is the second report of an attempted cash machine theft in as many months, as another machine was targeted at Tesco Express on Northwich Road, Weaverham on January 10.

On that occasion, a JCB was used and subsequently set on fire by thieves, who then fled the scene empty handed.

It is not known at this stage whether the two incidents are linked.

A spokesperson for Cheshire Police said: “At 1.37am this morning, police were called to Waitrose on London Road following reports of smoke coming from the cash machine.

“Officers established that someone had tried to break into the cash machine and had set the cash machine on fire.

“Firefighters put out the fire and enquiries are ongoing to find those responsible.

“Anyone who may have been in the area at the time, has dash cam footage, or has seen suspicious activity should contact police on 101 or via, quoting IML 636753.

“Alternatively, information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

A spokesperson for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service added: “Firefighters were called to a cash machine on fire outside a grocery store in London Road, Northwich.

“Crews used one hose reel to put out the fire and police were informed.”