An urgent investigation has been launched into the extensive fire that Wessex Scene first reported on yesterday.
In what police now believe was a failed break-in attempt, three men exited a vehicle, likely an Audi or BMW, by Santander’s Gower Building branch, and set fire to the external Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
After starting the fire, all three men returned to the car and drove in the direction of University Road.
Police have reported that the fire caused extensive damage to the ATM, and Wessex Scene has since learned that students living in the Gower residency halls have been warned about possible smell and smoke from the incident. Damage has also been reported inside the bank.
During the incident in the early hours of Monday, the Southampton students living above the bank were forced to evacuate after the smoke alarm system was set off.
A police spokesperson told the Daily Echo:
We are investigating after an ATM at the Santander bank in Burgess Road, Southampton was set alight around 2.15am today (January 20). A car, believed to be an Audi or BMW, pulled up outside the bank and three men got out of the vehicle. After the fire was started, the three men returned to the vehicle, leaving the scene in the direction of University Road.
Those with information are advised to call 101, the police non-emergency line, quoting the case number 44200023203. They can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Concerned students living in or around the Gower Building can email email@example.com or call Glen Eyre reception on 02380 595975.