Police are appealing for witnesses after brazen thieves stole a van and wood chipper machine from the side of the motorway, while highways workers were cutting hedges.

It happened on the London-bound M20 between 1.30pm and 2pm on Wednesday, October 4.

Maintenance workers were cutting hedges on the side of the carriageway, between junction 1 for the M25 and junction 2 for Sevenoaks, when the thieves gained access to the van the chipper was attached to and drove away.

Police are appealing for the return of the chipper

While the van has since been recovered, the machine remains missing.It is described as an orange Timberwolf wood chipper, with an ‘8’ written in black permanent marker on both sides.

Anyone with any information should contact Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting reference YY/28643/17. Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.