A McDonald's restaurant has become the centre of a crime scene after a stolen digger was used to ram into the building and smash the roof.

Police have sealed off the popular eatery in Laceby, just outside of Grimsby, as they comb the scene for clues following the attempted 4am raid.

An excavator was seen being driven through a hedge moments before the incident unfolded. The suspects then fled leaving the digger – and a trail of destruction – behind.

A member of staff said he and his colleagues are reeling at what has happened. Some staff on contracts had been offered shifts at other McDonald’s or to take holiday leave.

“It has upset a lot of people,” he told Grimsby Live.

Customers have also been left shocked by the sudden closure.

One lady drove past McDonald’s and said: “How long is it closed for? My mum is disappointed, she can’t get her breakfast. I’m not, I’m on a diet.”

Another shopper added: “It’s surprising. I’m not quite why they would do that. Why try to rip the roof off McDonald’s when there’s all these cashpoints at Morrisons?”

She added: “It’s the talk of the supermarket this morning.”

Frustrated McDonald’s customers Naura Drury also fumed: “All we wanted was a coffee. It’s very rare to see something like that at a McDonald’s. We just wanted a quick drink before going to a wedding.”

The digger, a Kabelco 360 excavator, had been taken from contractor VolkerInfra who are working on the Hornsea Two cabling project at Aylesby.

It is estimated it was driven two miles cross-country before being used to ram-raid and rip the roof off McDonald’s offices.

The digger only travels at walking pace so may have taken an hour to get to McDonald’s.

The firm has already suffered a series of fuel thefts throughout the week.

Police have advised motorists that McDonald’s is closed for at least today and maybe tomorrow.

Humberside Police said officers were immediately deployed after receiving a call at around 4am and, on arrival, the suspects had fled the scene leaving behind a digger.

It “appeared to have been used to attempt to break through a wall at the back of the premises,” they added.

At this stage it is believed no entry was gained and no property was stolen, however there is a significant amount of damage to the building.

Detective Inspector Phil Booker said: “In the early hours of this morning from around 4am, a gang has stolen a digger.

"Later on, this was used to break into the offices of the McDonald’s restaurant. They have not been able to take anything because of the response of members of the public who rang us.

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