The week after a gang smashed an ATM and escaped with it into the night no arrests have been made and a digger remains wedged into a supermarket.

In the early hours of Friday morning a red Manitou digger stolen from a nearby farm was crashed into the front of the Tesco store on Coppice Row in Theydon Bois.

The thieves, dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, wrenched the cash machine out of the wall and loaded it into a waiting vehicle.

Under the 3am darkness they raced off towards Abridge in a navy Ford Fiesta and black Range Rover, a vehicle that had been reported stolen and was later found by officers abandoned on Tysea Hill.

In the days following, little else appeared to have happened.

The hoarding that was swiftly erected around the crime scene on Friday remained in place, keeping a bemused trickle of school children and dog walkers several metres away from the centre of the crime scene on a cold Tuesday afternoon.

Two police cars were stationed at either end of the cordoned off store, the officer at the end away from the station occasionally looking up from his smart phone to make sure the digger remained in place.

For the people of Theydon Bois, this is another in a long line of thefts targetting businesses.

One shop owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said it was the second or third time someone had attempted to steal from the village Tesco in recent years.

She said: "Before they smashed the front of it to try and steal cigarettes and alcohol.

"Then someone rammed the cash machine another time.

"They must have realised they needed to do something more drastic which is what they did this time."

Most recently four men were arrested for allegedly burgling the Tesco in the early hours of September 30.

While the law quickly caught up with the suspects, who are due in Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on November 5, not everyone feels their business is safe.

The same shop owner added: "It's the culmination of a spate of burglaries that have been happening.

"Every single shop down Coppice Row has basically been broken into. That's why we have the bolts on the door.

"They break in, run in, look for cash, and run out again.

"They obviously just thought 'it's Theydon Bois, there's no police to stop us here'.

"There are no streetlights here either.

"It probably makes them feel you can probably get away with it."

Until it is safe for structural engineers to come in and determine whether the supermarket can be rebuilt, the digger - which could have fetched just shy of £60,000 if sold second hand - will remain in the wall.

In the meantime, busses including the 418 and 494 will be on extended diversions and Tesco staff will either work in another store or take annual leave.

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: "The road closure is in place for the public’s safety because the building has been substantially damaged and could be at risk of collapse.

"It will remain in place until engineers have carried out further assessments and it is safe to re-open the road.

"Please avoid the road where possible and use the diversions in place."

No arrests have been made in relation to the case.