A stolen digger was recovered in Bulgaria months after it was taken from Buckinghamshire.

The £17,000 worth hired Kubota digger was stolen from an address in The Hide, Milton Keynes, sometime between February 14 and March 1 this year.

Now the excavator has been recovered from Bulgaria after an investigation by Thames Valley Police’s Rural Crime Taskforce and partners.

Unbeknownst to the criminals, the machine had been fitted with a tracking chip and forensic markings so it could be traced to Bulgaria.

Interpol then collected it and arranged for the return to the UK with support from the National Rural Crime Team.

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Rural Crime Taskforce lead Inspector Stuart Hutchings said: “The use of trackers and forensic markings made all the difference in recovering this stolen digger.

“Partnership working was also crucial as we worked effectively with the NRCT, Interpol and HSS Hire Ltd, which rented out the machinery in the first place, to ensure the digger was not lost.

“While we were unable to identify who stole the digger, I believe getting it back safely in one piece is a success as the cost of plant theft on companies cannot be underestimated, which is why it is one of the taskforce’s top priorities.”

The theft was filed pending further information coming to light.

Anyone with further information should call 101 or make a report on Thames Valley Police website and quote the reference 43230093494.

Anonymous reports can be made to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or via its website.