A row of shops in Hillingdon were cordoned off after a cash machine was blown up in the early hours of this morning (February 14).
Owners of stores on Ryefield Avenue were alarmed to find the road and their shops taped off as the Metropolitan Police investigate the incident.
A resident who lives above the shops said officers cordoned off the pathway at around 2.45am and closed the Avenue.
It was re-opened at around 7.4am to allow traffic to pass but the remainder of the footpath remained taped off until the afternoon as an investigating forensics team looked at the scene closer.
Getwestlondon produced live updates as we heard about the news throughout the day.
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No arrests yet as footpaths reopen
Police have said the footpath on Ryefield Avenue has been examined by forensics and re-opened now investigations on site are complete. It’s business as usual for the shops there, although investigations for Hillingdon police continue as they try and find those responsible
No arrests made after 'suspects ran off' say police
The Metropolitan Police have told us they were called to the scene at 2.42am to reports of an attack on a cash machine in Ryefield Avenue.
A spokesman told getwestlondon:
“On arrive of police the suspects were found to have made off.
“No arrests at this time. Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad investigate.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101 or via Twitter @MetCC
You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you do not want to give your name.
Waiting for police for official statement
getwestlondon can’t confirm exactly what happened in the early hours of this morning until we receive confirmation from police.
In the meantime, if you heard or saw anything in Hillingdon last night related to this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as we gather more information on what happened on Ryefield Avenue.
'Police were on the scene when I got to work' says Costcutter staff member
A Costcutter store is directly opposite to the row of shops which remain cordoned off, very close to where the ATM incident took place.
A member of staff told getwestlondon: “By the time I got to work at 7am, police were already on the scene having a look around the road.
“I couldn’t actually drive near the shop, but roads re-opened not long after.”
Which part of Hillingdon has been closed off?
Ryefield Avenue was closed but re-opened to let traffic through at around 7.40am. The footpath around the collection of shops in Ryefield Avenue remain closed however as police investigate
Reports of 'loud bang' reported by Hillingdon residents
Residents in Hillingdon said on social media they heard a ‘loud bang’ last night, which is around the time of the incident.
Another described it as a ‘huge explosion’.
In an interview with Neelam Post Office owner Guarave Sood, he added: “There was a loud bang because people from around a mile away were saying they heard it.”
'My shops cordoned off until forensics come' says Post Office owner
Post Office owner Guarave Sood told getwestlondon he got a text around 3.50am from a resident nearby the shop to tell him what had happened.
“I live a few miles away and by the time I got there, it was all cordoned off by police and Ryefield Avenue was closed off as well.
“The Metropolitan Police have told me forensics will be arriving soon, so the footpath will re-open again.”
Gaurave, whose family has owned the Neelam Post Office and Convenience shop in Hillingdon for 40 years, said although it’s a quiet area, the ATM machines being blown up have happened before in the area.
“It’s not the first time,” he said.
“A few people on the estate have said it’s a group of youths. We’ll see what the police find.”
PICTURES show aftermath of ATM 'explosion'
The first pictures have been sent to us by getwestlondon reader Gaurav Sood, whose shop Neelam Post Office & Convenience still remains taped off this morning until police investigate the scene.