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Byline: JAMES CARTLEDGE Content Editor

POLICE are hunting ram-raiders who smashed a car into a PS17 million Birmingham hospital unit and fled with a cash machine.

A silver Audi was ploughed into a WH Smith store at Good Hope Hospital's treatment centre in Sutton Coldfield just before 3am on Tuesday. The gang ripped the cashpoint from the site and fled in a second car, a black Audi.

Police forensics officers combed the silver car for evidence after it was dumped at the Rectory Road hospital.

There were no injuries, it was not known how much money was inside the machine and there were no details of any arrests.

No patient appointments were affected at the treatment centre, which is used for day appointments and a range of procedures which do not require a stay in hospital.

WH Smith store manager Sue Powell said she found the scene at 6.30am when she arrived for work. She said: "Security told me the raid happened at 3am. They reversed in and dragged a free-standing cash machine and totally trashed the shop. I'm gutted. I don't know what we're going to do. Stock is everywhere."

A picture of the scene was also shared by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Dr David Rosser.

He tweeted: "How low can you get? "Ram-raiders targeted a cash machine at Good Hope Hospital this morning, damaging the treatment centre.

"Thanks to our staff and the police it has been made safe so no patients will have their care affected."

West Midlands Police said in a statement: "A silver Audi was used to drive into the front of the store causing significant damage to the front of the shop. Offenders have fled with an ATM machine in another car, a black Audi.

"The silver Audi was recovered by officers from the car park and is now being forensically examined. No-one was injured. Enquiries are on-going to trace those involved.

"Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, quoting log 232 18/12."

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 20, 2018
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