A MANHUNT is underway to track down a thief who used a digger to steal more than £44,000 from a cash machine.
Michael Broomfield, from Spennymoor, is being hunted by police after failing to report back to prison.
He was being held at HMP Castle Huntly in Dundee and Police Scotland has advised the public not to approach him.
Durham Constabulary has urged people to get in touch if he is spotted in the County Durham area.
The 34-year-old is believed to have connections in Spennymoor, Durham and Newcastle.
He was reported missing from prison on Monday February 22 at 8pm.
Broomfield is described as being 6ft 1in, medium build, with medium length dark brown hair and a beard.
He was last seen wearing a black and grey bobble hat, black and grey hooded top and blue jogging bottoms.
Broomfield was jailed for four years and four months in June 2019 for his part in the raid on the ATM at Scotmid Foods in Torphins, near Aberdeen.
In February that year witnesses saw a gang of men using a stolen digger to lift an ATM into the boot of a gold Chrysler.
A court heard he would have got away with the cash if his getaway car had not broken down.
His fingerprint was found on the vehicle and CCTV images captured him at the scene.
At Aberdeen Sheriff Court, he reportedly pleaded guilty to car theft and to breaking into Scotmid Foods and stealing an ATM.
Sheriff Graeme Napier said: “If the car hadn’t broken down you would have gotten away with the safe and all that money in it.”
As Broomfield was led away in handcuffs to begin his sentence, he reportedly said: “Stitched me right up.”
Anyone who spots him should contact police on 101.
Alternatively, they can call anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.