Masked men used plant machinery to ram-raid a shop in the Newry area yesterday.
At around 2.30am a crane with a forklift-type attachment was crashed into the wall of the business on the Forkhill Road.
But the attempt failed and a number of men left the scene empty-handed in a silver 4x4, leaving the crane behind.
The 4x4 had a trailer attached, but it was abandoned a short distance away.
It is believed that the crane with the forklift attachment may have been stolen from a building site at Drumintee Road in Meigh, south Armagh, a short time before the incident.
Police would particularly like to hear from the driver of a silver or blue-coloured Peugeot hatchback that had been travelling past the shop premises when the 4x4 made off.
It is believed that the vehicle pulled out in front of the Peugeot, causing the driver to sound their horn.
Information can be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on the phone number 0800 555 111.