The owners of a Newtownabbey trailer company are hitting the road happy after a valuable trailer stolen over a year ago was returned.
Local firm Ashcroft Trailer Hire lost the £12,000 trailer on January 28 last year.
The Dennison tri-axle skeletal, which was carrying an empty Maersk container, was hauled away from the Antrim Business Park while it was on hire to a customer.
Ashcroft Trailer Hire spokesperson Cheryl Wright commented: “This is the first time it has happen to us, but the theft of plant is a big problem at the minute affecting businesses around the UK and Ireland.
“People are stealing plant worth thousands of pounds.
“We had kept the incident on social media via Facebook and Twitter and police received a tip-off that the trailer was up for auction.”
The company worked with PSNI Constable Brendan Stewart-Keenan, who carried out extensive enquiries on behalf of the police to track down the stolen trailer.
Constable Stewart-Keenan commented: “Liaison with police colleagues in other UK police services and information from the public via social media and other means were vital in progressing enquiries into this theft and locating the stolen trailer, worth, we believe, in the region of £12,000.
“Two people were questioned as part of the investigation, and further enquiries are now being conducted into the theft and specifically how the trailer was transported to Leeds.
“I am delighted to have helped return this valuable stolen trailer to the company,” he concluded.
Cheryl says that the theft of such equipment can have a detrimental effect on businesses.
She explained: “Not being able to recover stolen equipment can hit a business dearly, as not only do we have the cost of replacing the stolen asset, but also increased insurance premiums and loss of revenue for both ourselves and the customer.
“We are delighted there has been a good ending.
“It’s a good news story for the industry, as hauliers don’t normally see anything recovered.
“We could like to thank everybody who helped with recovering our trailer, including the PSNI, Facebook and Twitter friends who shared the information, Commercial Motor, Park Logistics, Handy Shopping Guide, Cranleigh Freight Services, and Irish Trucker & Light Commercials Magazine to name but a few.
“It’s great and we’re very thankful to get it back.”
Director of Stewart International Mark Stewart, who arranged for the safe recovery and collection of the trailer after it was found, stated: “We were happy to be of assistance.”