THIEVES were dramatically stopped in their tracks after attempting to drive off in a tractor with more than £2,000 worth of goods from a Fintona store.
A 71-year-old man was arrested in relation to the attempted theft which was prevented when locals drove their cars in front of the tractor.
The drama began when two men arrived at JJ Donnelly and Sons hardware store claiming to lift an order for a regular customer on Tuesday at around 5.30pm.
The order, made up of approximately £2,400 worth of fertiliser and diesel, was then loaded on to a tractor and trailer outside before the men attempted to make off with the goods.
However, shop owner Peter Donnelly quickly became dubious of the transaction and the tractor chase ensued.
“I got a bit suspicious when they put 200 litres of diesel into jars instead of into the tractor itself,” explained Peter.
“My two nephews, John and PJ, then sped after the tractor in their cars and drove in front to force them to stop.”
One of the men fled the scene by foot, but the other “returned willingly” to the store with Peter’s nephews to await police.
Peter said he was glad the items had been retrieved.
“We got the stuff back which is the main thing,” he said.
Police have arrested a 71-year-old man on suspicion of theft and fraud by false representation in relation to the incident. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries.