John Deere telehandler outside smashed up Co-op© Lincolnshire Police

Police are hunting ram raiders who reduced a Co-op store to rubble in a Lincolnshire village.

Thieves stole a John Deere telehandler from a farm and smashed it repeatedly into the front of the store in Market Place, Donington.

Despite their best efforts, the raid ended in failure and the thieves fled empty handed in a dark 4×4 flat-bed vehicle and a dark blue saloon car.

See also: Farm machinery used in botched cashpoint theft

The failed raid on a cash machine in the wall ended in the collapse of the whole building.

Pub landlord Malcolm Mills, who runs the neighbouring Black Bull, told Sky News he had been woken by a “huge bang” at about 3.20am on Thursday morning.

He described the scene was “total devastation on the front”. 

He added: “A lorry came by and had to mount the pavement opposite, and he looked like he was being threatened with something.

“They [the raiders] got in the car to flee and then they had to come back as they had left something in the tractor.”

Following the raid, the BBC reported that a pop-up shop has been set up in the village, selling 150 essential items.

Lincolnshire Police said its investigation was ongoing.

The force has appealed to anyone with information to contact Spalding CID on 101, quoting incident number 27 of 29 September.