Two stolen cars were used in a ram raid at an Auckland petrol station in a failed bid to steal a fortified cash machine.

Police were called about 2.15am to a Mobil service station on Verran Rd, Birkdale, after a section of its glass front was smashed by two vehicles in a failed ATM heist.

A police spokeswoman said when the initial attempt to remove the machine from inside the store was unsuccessful, three men resorted to trying to open it inside the wrecked shop.

This also did not go to plan and the trio, who all had their faces covered, left.

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Both vehicles used to drive into the station shop were stolen, police said.

It was unclear if anything was taken.

She said a sole attendant manning the station was unharmed but shaken by the ordeal.

Police were today reviewing security footage and making further inquiries.

An appeal had been made for anyone with information to contact the North Shore Policing Centre on 477 5004 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.