A heavy-duty forklift was used to steal a cash machine from a north-east store.
The ATM at the Scotmid store at Craigour Road in Torphins was broken into and stolen in the early hours of this morning.
Police were called to the scene at around 1.30am, with the ATM machine found nearby. It is not known how much money, if any, was taken in the incident.
A forklift was spotted at the scene with chains round its forks, while a Chrysler car was also seen close by with debris behind it.
The B993 Kincardine O’Neil to Torphins road is closed from the Torphins bypass to the village while officers carry out investigations.
Aberdeenshire Council officers assisted police in closing of the B993 and the A980 around 4.40am, with diversions in place.
Officers have launched an appeal and are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen any vehicles or people in the area in the early hours of the morning, or anyone who has noticed suspicious activity in recent days.
Detective Inspector Fionnuala McPhail said: “Inquiries are at an early stage and I would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area to get in touch.
“Local road closures and cordons are in place while initial inquiries are carried out and I would like to thank the community for their patience while officers carry out their investigation.
“Additional patrols will also be carried out in the area and anyone with information can speak to any officer or call 101 using reference number 0184 of 28 February.
“Alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to remain anonymous.”
Banchory and Mid-Deeside councillor Rosemary Bruce, who lives in Torphins, said: “It’s quite shocking. It’s unusual for something like this to happen here.
“I just hope whoever did it is caught quickly.”
Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor Geva Blackett added: “Fortunately a high-profile crime like this is rare in Deeside.
“The main thing is nobody was hurt. Human safety always has to come first.
“I just hope the police can catch whoever has done it.”