Digger stolen in full view of commuters

The digger before it was stolen from the site of the former Last Orders in Standish
The digger before it was stolen from the site of the former Last Orders in Standish

Brazen thieves made off with a three-ton mechanical digger right under commuters’ noses.

Minutes after builders had locked up for the day on the project to turn the former Last Orders pub on Standish High Street into the latest in pub baron Tony Callaghan’s Fifteens chain, bogus workmen turned up with a transit van and trailer, broke into the fenced off compound, got the plant machinery started and made off with it on the back of the vehicle.

The van and trailer would almost certainly have been stuck in rush hour traffic shortly after 4pm last Thursday. The yellow Cat caterpillar digger was fitted with a tracker so when the theft was discovered the next morning police were able to monitor its progress as far as the Botany Bay retail mill at Chorley, but thereafter the trail goes cold because the device was then found and removed.

Mr Callaghan said: “Talk about being in plain sight! The thieves did all this during the rush hour. Someone must have seen something. They will just have thought it was the regular workmen. This vehicle is worth £30,000 to £40,000.

“Fortunately the contractors are insured and new plant is coming on site so the project isn’t being held up.”

Anyone with details can ring police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.