GARDAI have issued a cross-border crime alert warning construction companies to protect their machinery.
The call comes after an upsurge in the theft of diggers, dumpers, particularly of Hitachi make, and other machinery in the Donegal, Tyrone, Monagahan and Fermanagh regions.
A Hitachi ZX1300 worth 50,000 euro was recently stolen from the site of a road upgrade in Ballybofey. It was recovered two days later on a flat-bed lorry in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim.
Garda Sergeant Paul Wallis, Divisional Crime Prevention Officer said: “With the uplift in construction and general excavating work the criminals are also shaking off the dust and getting involved in the theft of machinery again.
“Excavators are valuable pieces of equipment and can be stolen quite easily by criminally minded persons who are organised.
“Prospective purchasers should always bear in mind if you purchase stolen items you have no title to ownership.”
People are being urged to contact gardai immediately if they notice anything suspicious in their area.