Tracking device showed location of stolen East Lancashire digger

Tracking device showed location of stolen East Lancashire digger

Tracking device showed location of stolen East Lancashire digger

First published in News by , Court reporter

TWO men who were stopped in the early hours towing a stolen mini-digger gave a plausible story to police and were allowed to continue on their way.

But officers were back on the case shortly after when the owner of the digger received a call from a tracking company to say his equipment was on the move.

Blackburn magistrates heard the tracking system lead the police directly to the £18,000 digger, which had been stolen from a site in Newton-in-Bowland.

Martin Smith, 28, of Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, and Mathew Shane McFarlane, 23, of Grove Lane, Padiham, both pleaded guilty to theft of a Takuchi mini-digger.

They were committed on bail to Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the digger was being used on a site in Newton-in-Bowland where the owners were renovating a property.

Neighbours raised the alarm when they saw the digger being loaded onto a trailer late at night.

“Smith was driving the vehicle towing the digger when police stopped them in the early hours of the morning,” said Miss Allan. “The officers accepted the explanation they gave and they were allowed to continue on their way.”

She said the vehicle was recovered but the owner had to pay £480 to get it out of the compound and for the hire of another digger while his was unavailable.

Imran Hussain, defending, said his clients accepted they had embarked on a ‘hare-brained scheme’.

“It was doomed to failure from the outset,” said Mr Hussain. “The vehicle was fitted with a tracker but also it was midnight and neighbours were suspicious when they saw and heard this machine being moved.”

Mr Hussain said in the short term his clients, who both work in the building trade, intended to use the vehicle.

“They hadn’t thought about selling it or anything like that,” said Mr Hussain.

Comments (8)

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6:11pm Fri 7 Feb 14

noddy57 says...

Oh no perish the thought,,of course they were going to sell it what else would they do with it ?l would say it was stolen to order like most plant machinery is,it is very lucrative when you consider this machine was valued at £ 18 , 000 ,,says it all really,
Oh no perish the thought,,of course they were going to sell it what else would they do with it ?l would say it was stolen to order like most plant machinery is,it is very lucrative when you consider this machine was valued at £ 18 , 000 ,,says it all really, noddy57
  • Score: 12

8:25pm Fri 7 Feb 14

mavrick says...

I wonder how the court will view it and what sentence it gives out. Will the victim ever get his money back? These two were going to sell this digger no doubt about it.
I wonder how the court will view it and what sentence it gives out. Will the victim ever get his money back? These two were going to sell this digger no doubt about it. mavrick
  • Score: 11

10:26pm Fri 7 Feb 14

woolywords says...

It's only a little, mini-digger and not a big digger, like the one in the picture, so I expect that they will only get a little sentence.
It's only a little, mini-digger and not a big digger, like the one in the picture, so I expect that they will only get a little sentence. woolywords
  • Score: 1

11:04pm Fri 7 Feb 14

POW WOW says...

Bad Policing !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bad Policing !!!!!!!!!!!!! POW WOW
  • Score: 4

12:46pm Sat 8 Feb 14

A Darener says...

Perhaps all insurance companies should insist that all vehicles are fitted with a tracking device, put pressure on manufacturers to do so. The cost of such devices would be greatly reduced if mass produced for the vehicle building industry, so would add little to the overall cost of a new vehicle.
Perhaps all insurance companies should insist that all vehicles are fitted with a tracking device, put pressure on manufacturers to do so. The cost of such devices would be greatly reduced if mass produced for the vehicle building industry, so would add little to the overall cost of a new vehicle. A Darener
  • Score: 4

3:26pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Copperhead says...

I wonder, if when they were arrested, they claimed to no nothing about it telling the police " it's a plant guv, honest " ?
I wonder, if when they were arrested, they claimed to no nothing about it telling the police " it's a plant guv, honest " ? Copperhead
  • Score: -1

7:41pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Primus622 says...

Why should three owner have to pay to get hits property back....if the police had been on the ball to start with the digger need not have been in a compound...
Why should three owner have to pay to get hits property back....if the police had been on the ball to start with the digger need not have been in a compound... Primus622
  • Score: 1

7:43pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Primus622 says...

Why should thre owner have to pay to get hits property back....if the police had been on the ball to start with the digger need not have been in a compound...
Why should thre owner have to pay to get hits property back....if the police had been on the ball to start with the digger need not have been in a compound... Primus622
  • Score: 0

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