POLICE were today talking to colleagues across the country in the hunt for thieves who blew up a cash machine.
The detective leading the investigation also appealed for information about a car seen leaving the scene of the raid in Newtonhill.
An explosive device is believed to have been used to free an ATM from a wall at Tesco Express on Newtonhill Road.
Detective Inspector Stewart Mackie of Police Scotland said residents had phoned to report a “loud bang” at around 2.30am on Saturday.
He said: “There was extensive damage and a lot of debris across the car park.”
DI Mackie of Aberdeenshire and Moray Division said the theft was “relatively unusual” for the North-east but that there had been similar incidents across the UK.
He said: “We are linking with colleagues across England as well as divisions across Scotland.
“We are sharing intelligence with a view to establishing who was responsible.”
The lead officer also revealed a line of inquiry centres on a car spotted at the supermarket.
DI Mackie added: “A dark grey estate was seen leaving the scene shortly afterwards.
“We would like to hear from anyone who saw the vehicle at that time or in the run-up.”
He added that it was possible the car may have been in the area in the days before the raid.
It is also thought that passengers getting off a late-night bus in Newtonhill may have witnessed activity relating to the crime.
The area was cordoned off so forensic officers could gather evidence.
No details have been released about the amount of money taken or the number of suspects.