CCTV images have been released by Essex Police to help identify the masked men who caused an ATM to explode.

Police are appealing for witnesses after two men, both described as black, stole a five-figure cash sum from Post Office on Sun Street, Waltham Abbey.

The duo reportedly used bolt cutters to access the building around 1.45am, Saturday, February 23, where they used a device to destroy the cash point.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Jo Smith, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This was a carefully planned break-in by a group of people who knew what they were doing.

“They have made off with a significant amount of money and it’s important we identify those involved and bring them to justice.”

One of the men is described as wearing dark clothing, including a hooded top with the hood up, white trainers, and gloves.

Another of the men is described as wearing dark clothing and a balaclava.

A dark blue Volkswagen Golf R Estate with silver wing-mirrors was used as the getaway towards Sewardstone Road via Quaker Lane.

Detective Constable Smith added: “We appreciate these images perhaps don’t show the vehicle or the suspect as clearly as would be ideal but I hope they will jog someone’s memory.

“If you have any information about this incident, I need you to come forward.”

Jade Marie Crouch, a painter and decorator who moved into Sun Street less than a month ago, witnessed part of the incident.

She said: “Firstly a really bright light filled the whole of my front room and then a massive loud bang.

“Initially I thought it was someone letting a firework off right outside.”

The 21-year-old said the post office had smoke pouring out after the men who were wearing black masks opened the doors with a crow bar.

A black car was also parked outside the building which was used by the men as their getaway a few minutes later.

“I think what they tried to do was try to smash the window of the door but didn’t do it successfully, so then they damaged the locks and got in that way,” Ms Crouch explained.

“I couldn’t really see because the post office has this thing to prevent burglars from being able to see what they are doing by letting off smoke but I could just see bodies moving around in there."

If you saw or heard anything, have any CCTV or dash cam footage about the incident please call 101 quoting crime reference number 42/29546/19.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.