They may not have been digging for gold, but a band of thieves made off with a substantial amount of cold hard cash.
On Friday, a group allegedly stole more than £80,000 (nearly $132,000) from an ATM inside a Tesco Express store in the United Kingdom, BBC reports. Police said they believe the thieves dug a tunnel under the British chain throughout a period of several months to gain access to the cash machine.
The estimated 50-foot tunnel ran beneath a nearby wasteland to the petrol station shop, local reports note. The bandits used the passageway, which authorities described as a complex structure, to enter the shop overnight and swipe cash boxes from the ATM.
Local police are hopeful that witnesses will come forward with information about the amateur miners. In a statement, DS Mark Toker of the Greater Manchester Police’s Salford Division said:
These people had obviously spent a long time plotting this crime and I doubt they would have been able to keep their plans secret for all that time, without telling others about their elaborate scheme. The offenders must have spent long periods of time in the area over the last few months, which people may have noticed.
While police have not released information about the suspects, local media reports speculate the tunnel may be the work of the so-called “mole in the wall” gang, whose members are known for burrowing under buildings to conduct late-night raids. In 2012, the group used shovels, wheelbarrows and scaffolding to dig a 40-foot tunnel beneath a Blockbuster store in a nearby locality.