Thieves lit part of a cash machine on fire while trying to steal it from a petrol station.
Humberside Police said three men targeted the Blue Stone service station, in Stallingborough Road, Immingham.
It happened at about 3.3am on Thursday, when the men pulled part of the ATM casing off before trying to set fire to it.
But police said they were disturbed by a passing security patrol.
The men then fled in a silver-coloured people carrier-style vehicle.
Superintendent Ed Cook said: "This is not related to any recent incidents involving thefts of cash machines. It was a stand-alone ATM that three individuals tried to damage then steal from.
"The fact that a fire was set on a petrol forecourt causes me concern and we want to find these people as soon as possible."
All three have been described as in their late teens, and were all wearing grey hooded tops and black tracksuit bottoms.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting log 39 of December 7.