POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a mini-excavator was stolen from a Hampshire cemetery.

The Terex 1.6 tonne digger which was locked in a shipping container was taken from Hollybrook Cemetery, in Southampton.

The thieves then dumped the digger in the Housdown Industrial Estate, off the Marchwood by-pass, tucking it away, behind a temporary building on some disused land.

Officers, who found it and returned it back to the Tremona Road cemetery, are appealing for anyone who may have seen the digger being stolen or dumped.

Anyone with information about the incident, which happened between 4.30pm on May 14 and 7am on May 15, should call PC Alex Bowman based at the Southampton West Priority Crime Team at Shirley Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.