Thieves escaped with tens of thousands of pounds after ramming a JCB into a Tesco store to remove the cash machine.
The criminals struck at 4am on Saturday morning at the Tesco home store in Parkway, Chelmsford.
They abandoned the digger in a nearby field after taking out the ATM with all the money inside.
nvestigating Officer, Dc Ant Andrews, said: "We haven’t recovered the money yet and will be forensically examining the digger for any clues which may reveal who the thieves are.
"As yet, we don’t know who the digger belongs to so that is another line of enquiry we’re pursuing.
"We are appealing for anyone who saw the smash and grab theft.
"They may have been some late-night revellers walking along Parkway as they returned home who may have seen this digger.
"They are all key witnesses.”
Anyone with information in connection with this burglary is urged to contact detectives at Chelmsford police station on 0300 333 4444.