RESIDENTS have described hearing a 'huge boom' in the early hours of this morning as yet another Oxfordshire ATM was stolen by thieves. 

Police say the gas explosion attack was one of two in the region, with a petrol station near Aylesbury also being targeted on the same night.

Officers believe the same gang of three men was responsible for both raids. They have not been caught.

WATCH: Dash cam footage captured the incident unfolding

A large police presence is stationed outside the Eynsham post office in Mill Street with the area cordoned off.

Oxford Mail:

The cash machine has been torn out of the wall and the front door has been smashed in.

The first incident took place shortly after midnight today (Tuesday) at the Mega Petroleum Filling Station in High Street, Whitchurch.

The gang tried to blow out the ATM with a gas-based device, but were unsuccessful. 

They then targeted the post office in Eynsham and managed to get away with cash, though the amount has not been confirmed. 

One neighbour, writing on Facebook, said she was woken at around 2.30am by the noise on Mill Street. 

She said: "We looked out of the window and there was a car and people yelling...they drove off and the police then came zooming after them. 

"Feel so bad for the owners of the post office and the people who live above."

Oxford Mail:

A mum-of-two who lives across the road was fast asleep when she heard what she describes as an 'almighty explosion' and a car drive off at speed. 

Her family all jumped out of bed upon hearing the noise and rushed to the window to see what it was. 

Oxford Mail:

She said that it was hard to make out what was happening in the fog but police were on the scene almost instantly. 

Various items came flying out of the back of the fleeing car, including petrol jerry cans. 

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Officers have been on the scene ever since and the owners of the shop visited earlier to assess the damage, according to the woman.

She said: "The village is usually so quiet and a nice community so it's very sad."

Oxford Mail:

Jonathan Bowden, the owner of the Market Garden shop opposite the post office, said he saw a large 'cut off saw', similar to a motorised angle grinder, on the floor in an evidence bag as he arrived for work at 8.30am this morning. 

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He said: "When I got here, I saw the area was all cordoned off, the windows smashed and the ATM has been left in a sorry state. 

"It was such a large level of destruction for what could only have been a small amount of money. 

"Thankfully our shop has not been affected and we are open as normal. 

Oxford Mail:

"We have built up a good relationship with the owners [of the post office] over the years and it is so sad that people can be so reckless."

The incident marks the return of the sight of destroyed cash machines to the county following a lull in activity after a police crack-down late last year.

In November, 250 officers swarmed on 10 locations in what they said at the time was a 'tightening of the net' on the ATM thieves.

Seven were arrested and a fire arm, drugs, cash and power tools were seized.

But all were released under investigation and remained so when the force last updated on their cases last month.

Thames Valley Police has currently only publicly linked the two incidents which took place last night and has not yet said whether they will be treated as part of the wider Operation Shire.

The last estimates suggested that more than £2million worth of damage have been caused since the raids first began more than a year ago.

Senior investigating officer detective inspector Jim Holmes, said at the time of the November operation: “A lot of people don’t want to use chip and pin, they aren’t comfortable using card-less payments and they want to use cash.

"When a cash machine is removed it can cause significant disruption especially when there aren’t the transport links to local towns."

Footage of the Eynsham incident, shared with the Oxford Mail by a local resident, showed the raid unfolding.

Men are seen getting in and out of a white car before sparks are sent flying and a distinctive loud bang is heard.

Car alarms then sound before the lights of the ATM come back on briefly and the men get back into the car, turning the headlights on.

The clip has been passed to the police.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Justin Harris, based at Aylesbury police station, said: “We believe that the same offenders are responsible for both these incidents and we would like to speak to anyone who witnessed either offence, or who has any information which they think could be relevant to our investigation.

“If you have any details which you think could help, please call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number on 101, quoting reference numbers 43190037114 and 43190037160.”