A SERVICE station in Abingdon is the latest to be targeted in a string of ATM raids across Oxfordshire.

Would-be thieves tried but failed to steal a cash machine from a BP garage in Abingdon overnight, and two men have since been arrested.

Just last month the Co-op in nearby Kingston Bagpuize was left with a gaping hole after a gang used a digger to rip the ATM from the wall.

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It was at least the 15th such raid in Oxfordshire in just over a year.

Thames Valley Police has not yet ruled out if the latest incident at BP, in Vineyard, is connected to any of the others. 

A spokesman said: "At this stage officers investigating are keeping an open mind as to whether this is linked to any other raids in Oxfordshire."

The force was called at 1.28am after a remote alarm was activated at the garage.

Police did not state details about the attempted theft but said the ATM was damaged in the process, but not stolen.

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Officers stopped a vehicle in Culham and two men aged 35 and 32 were arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, both of no fixed abode. 

Anyone with any information about what happened can contact the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number 101 quoting the reference 43190100312.

The men remained in police custody this afternoon.

Abingdon taxi driver Colin Dobson said part of the garage forecourt remained cordoned off this afternoon, including the parcel pick-up lockers and the cash machine, with a police officer stationed at the scene.

He said the shop and the pumps are operating as normal, however. 

The police force was unable to give further details about the method of the attempted theft as it said investigation is ongoing.