RAM-RAIDERS used a pick-up truck to smash their way into a petrol station in Thaxted before leaving empty handed.

Detectives are appealing for information relating to the attempted ram-raid, which took place at Saracens filling station in Mill End.

Officers were called to the scene at around 3.50am on Thursday when reports were made a Hilux vehicle was being used to break in the store.

They conducted a thorough search of the area with the assistance of the police helicopter.

The Hilux vehicle, a type of pick-up truck, has been recorded.

Nothing is believed to have been taken from the petrol station but significant damage has been done to the premises.

District Commander for Braintree and Uttlesford Chief Inspector Janette Rawlingson has sought to reassure the public following the incident.

She said: "I know that Thaxted is a close, tight-knit community, and this type of offence will come as a shock to people who live and work in the area.

"The damage this incident has caused to an important local business is unacceptable and, thankfully, nothing was taken and no one was hurt.

“Our detectives are working diligently to find those responsible for this crime, and I would urge anyone with information about this incident, or any of the vehicles involved, to call Braintree CID on 101 and quote incident 124 of 10 October.

“I appreciate that some people may be nervous to come forward, so you can call Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555 111 or submit information through their website.

“Local officers will be stepping up patrols in the area, so please speak to them if you have any concerns.

"People who want to commit crime are not welcome in Uttlesford, and I won’t let our local communities feel vulnerable to people who want to cause them harm.”