A village shop was targeted by thieves in the early-hours of yesterday morning with almost £1,000 taken in the raid.
The Nisa store, in Cuminestown’s Main Street, is one of the small village’s only shops and is managed by local woman Una Gill.
Last night, Ms Gill said: “They broke through the back of the premises and attacked the ATM. They got a small sum of money from it but I think they must have been disturbed because they left some cigarettes.
“We’re very lucky, we could have had more money in the machine.”
The store was closed for several hours on Thursday morning while police carried out forensics.
A spokeswoman for the force said the cash – described as a high three-figure sum – along with a quantity of cigarettes were stolen.
Detective Inspector Stewart Mackie added: “I would appeal to anyone who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious to contact us.”
The crime has been condemned by Cuminestown councillor Anne Robertson.
“It’s very disappointing that small business, that serve small communities, are targeted in such a way. Security is a major issue for us all, but it seems that regardless of the steps we or business owners take people find a way to get through,” she said.
“There are a lot of unintended consequences in these instances and it does have an impact on local businesses and on how they operate. It’s disappointing for successful business owners who go above and beyond and is to be condemned.
“Rural crime is obviously something we keep a close eye on, and it’s something that affects our area extremely badly. Unless people are reporting suspicious activity, it is less likely that these people are caught. We’ve all got a responsibility.”
Members of the public who may have information on the crime can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.