TWO men will appear in court charged with stealing tool and plant hire equipment worth almost £60,000.

The men, both aged 20 and from Bewdley and Worcester, were arrested following an investigation by West Mercia Police following the thefts in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, the West Midlands, Leicestershire and the West Country.

One of the men has been charged with six counts of theft.

He is accused of stealing a micro digger and trailer worth £15,000 from Hire It at Kidderminster, a plate compactor and hydraulic breaker worth £3,301 from Ermin Plant Hire in Worcester, a plate compactor and jet wash worth £3,270 from Brandon Tool Hire at Redditch, a generator worth £870 from Hire Station in Bristol, a disc cutter and pressure washer worth £3,027 from HSS Hire in Solihull, and a £7,000 micro digger from KB Handley Plant Hire in Barwell, Leicestershire.

He also faces two charges of wasting police time by making a false report of theft and two motoring offences.

The other man has been charged with stealing a micro digger and mini dumper worth a total of £20,000 from Brandon Tool Hire in Ledbury and the theft of a pole saw and pressure washer worth £4,140 from HSS Hire in Solihull.

All the offences are alleged to have been committed between January 5 and February 1 this year.

Both men have been bailed to appear at Redditch Magistrates Court on Wednesday, December 12.