A gang of thieves who spent six months digging a 100ft tunnel under a car park in a bid to raid a shop's cash machine may have only escaped with around £6,000, sources claim.
The theft happened some time between 5.30pm on Monday January 2 and Tuesday January 3 at a cash machine at Blockbuster in Fallowfield shopping precinct, Levenshulme, Manchester.
Sources also said today that this was the second time the criminals, dubbed the 'mole gang', had tried to dig their way to the cash machine after an identical plot was foiled in 2007.
It is also believed the gang drilled tiny holes from the roof of their tunnel into the floor of the store, into which they inserted telescopic cameras to see how far along they were.
The thieves dug the tunnel from a railway embankment at the rear of the shop. It went under a car park and beneath the foundations of the store.
The passageway was around 100ft in length and around 4ft tall. It had also been fitted with lighting and roof supports.
The tunnel was dug directly underneath the cash machine, where the raiders used machinery to drill through more than 15 inches of concrete and stole cash from the ATM.
The thieves made their getaway back down the tunnel.
A source at the shopping precinct said: "There was just over £6,000 in the machine. It was only when security came to fill the machine back up that they discovered the hole.
"While they were digging the tunnel they drilled holes through the floor. They think they've put telescopic cameras through the holes and into the shop to see how far along they were."