DETECTIVES are hunting three men who used a stolen ute in two ram raids on Armidale businesses that has left a costly trail of destruction.
The offenders escaped with one motorbike but the damage bill for the Whitebull Hotel and the Supermoto New England store will run into the tens of thousands of dollars after they were hit in the early hours of Friday.
As Armidale detectives try and track down those behind the targeted raids, they’ve called for public help from anyone that saw a Mitsubishi Triton ute between 2am and 4am on Friday.
Both businesses spent the day trying to mop up the damage and repair the gaping holes in the walls and doors after the stolen ute rammed both, about 3am.
The single-cab ute, which was stolen from an Armidale home beforehand, was deliberately backed into the hotel, off Marsh Street, in what is believed to be a failed attempt to steal the ATM.
The offenders were inside for a matter of moments then quickly fled the scene empty-handed, but the targeted attack was captured on the hotel’s security cameras.
Police were alerted and arrived on scene to the damage. Minutes after, the same stolen ute was driven into the front of the Supermoto bike shopfront on Mann Street.
Once inside, thieves stole one motorbike before the offenders took off in the Triton.
It was then dumped and set alight by the thieves in Shambrook Avenue, with the motorbike still missing.
The charred ute has been seized by investigators, and both businesses were declared crime scenes as forensic police from Tamworth were deployed to comb the areas for clues.
Detectives have taken charge of the investigation and believe three people are behind the first attack, which is linked to the second.
Investigators have spoken to witnesses and examined the security surveillance of both ram raids but are now appealing for public help.
Detectives are urging anyone that saw the Mitsubishi Triton being driven in the early hours of Friday or who may have dash cam footage, to contact Armidale detectives on 6771 6999.