RAM-RAIDERS momentarily made off with an ATM from a Newnham service station before losing the cash-filled machine in the getaway.
Police said four men in a stolen Mitsubishi Triton tried slamming their way through a 24-hour BP store at Invermay about 4.15am yesterday.
Obstructed by a large pole, the bandits moved on to the Newnham BP.
There they rammed through the 24-hour store's front window in reverse and were able to disconnect and steal the ATM, placing it on the ute.
But it appears the damage caused to the ute in the raids caused the ATM to slip off the back of the vehicle.
Both stores were occupied by attendants at the time of the raids.
The ute, which had been stolen from Riverside, was located a short time later by police, on fire at Rocherlea, and the owner was notified.
Detective Inspector Scott Flude, of Launceston Crime and Drug Investigation, said the ram-raid caused significant damage to the Newnham store. ``Anything to do significant damage like that to the shop puts people's lives at risk, including people doing the damaging,'' he said.
Fortunately it doesn't appear that anyone has been injured as a result of either incident.''
The incident was the first ram-raid in Launceston in about 18 months, he said.
Police were able to obtain a small amount of CCTV footage and were interviewing witnesses.
Anyone who may have seen the Triton ute or the occupants in the Invermay, Newnham or Rocherlea areas at these times is asked to ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.