Company boss catches digger thieves after 50-mile car chase thanks to tracker he had installed

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Sam Daniel followed thieves who tried to take his digger and led police to them. (Reach)
Sam Daniel followed thieves who tried to take his digger and led police to them. (Reach)

A company boss took matters into his own hands and followed thieves who tried to steal a digger, embarking on a 50-mile motorway chase.

Sam Daniel, 35, had installed a tracker on the digger after his family business was hit by a spate of machinery theft.

So when the device alerted him that one of his machines was moving, he jumped in his car and followed the signal.

As he pursued the thieves for 50 miles across Greater Manchester, Daniel alerted police who eventually pulled over a van believed to be carrying the digger, and found the machine inside.

After the 50-mile chase, police pulled over a van and found the digger inside. (Reach)
After the 50-mile chase, police pulled over a van and found the digger inside. (Reach)

The 35-year-old, who runs Ashley Plant Hire and Building Supplies LTD in Altrincham with his father and brother, described how he had just arrived home when the tracker told him one of their diggers was moving.

"I checked again and it was heading down the A556 so I just ran out the house and went chasing after it," he said.

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"I was on a three-way call with my parents. My dad was guiding me where the tracker was moving and my mum was relaying the location to the police.

"By the time I caught up with the tracker it was at Junction 17 of the M60 near Bolton. I saw a van that stuck out a mile off so I followed that one and gave the details to the police.

"I was giving every detail I had of the van they were driving - where they were heading, the speed, what lane they were in."

As Sam Daniel followed the tracker signal, he noticed a van that stuck out so followed it. (Reach)
As Sam Daniel followed the tracker signal, he noticed a van that stuck out so followed it. (Reach)

Eventually, several police cars took over his efforts and successfully pulled over the van on the M62 at Halifax.

When they checked inside the van, they found the digger which is set to be returned to its owners once police have retrieved any forensic evidence.

Daniel added: "Excavator theft is on such a high at the moment and normally the thieves never get caught.

"Last year alone we had five machines stolen so we took matters into our own hands and bought the trackers."

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