Three farmers who joined together to track down a stolen JCB have been praised by police.
The £40,000 telehandler was spotted separately by the farmers – who are not being named by police – as it was being driven along country lanes in Rutland late at night, on the back of a truck.
The farmers then contacted each other by telephone. They not only decided to call the police but also joined in the hunt for the vehicle. While two of the farmers waited at key road junctions in the hope of intercepting the JCB, the third joined PC John Goldsmith in a search of nearby lanes.
The abandoned forklift was found on an isolated track one hour later, with part of its number plate removed.
It had been stolen from a building site in Northamptonshire, but was not reported missing until a week after the farmers found it.
PC Goldsmith said: “The recovery of the JCB is thanks to the vigilance of these farmers and their kind cooperation. Without their assistance and local knowledge we might not have found it.”
Inspector Johnny Monks, commander of the Rutland local policing unit, added: “This incident reflects the great response and support we have from farmers. We have nearly 200 farms in Rutland and we are passionate about ensuring our rural community is protected from crime.”