A ‘substantial reward’ is being offered for information on the whereabouts of a 10-ton JCB digger stolen from a field at Covesea near Lossiemouth late on Thursday or early Friday morning.
The distinctive digger was owned by local businessman Frank Ralph, who had been using it to dig a trench in the field which he also owns.
People in the area are being urged to report any sightings of the vehicle, bright yellow in colour with the registration plate M850 PSO and with the word ‘Shoreline’ emblazoned on the front.
Mr Ralph said: “We understand that a dark-coloured, possibly black, high-back Transit van was seen parked near the field on very early on Friday morning. Any information on the whereabouts of the digger would be greatly welcomed – it is not as if a 10-ton digger of this type can easily vanish without trace.
“I would also warn any farmers or industrial sites around Moray to keep an eye out both for this vehicle but also for their own property.”
It is feared that the JCB was specifically targeted with reports of similar vehicles being stolen and taken out of the country. A JCB digger stolen from the Cotswolds area earlier this week was traced in Holland via a tracker just 24 hours later.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland by telephoning 101.