Police have launched an investigation after a pair of thieves stole a JCB digger from a construction and used it to uproot two parking meters in a bid to empty them of their contents.
Two men are thought to have broken into the building site where they found the digger with the keys still in the ignition.
After breaking through the perimeter fence, they drove the vehicle to a local car park, where they wrenched two pay and display machines out of the ground and upended them to shake out about £350 in coins before dumping one of them in the river in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
The other parking meter was left on the river bank near the car park in Holywell Hill.
Hertfordshire Police are investigating the incident. PC Ed Messinger said: “We think the process these offenders went through would have proved quite noisy so someone must have heard or seen something.”