POLICE managed to track down a 12ft wooden gate in less than 24 hours after it was stolen.

A Maldon farmer contacted Essex Police's rural engagement team after the five-bar gate was stolen from his property.

This prompted the farmer to alert the Rural Engagement Team to its theft.

The police team, which specialises in countryside crime, managed to find the gate 16 miles away in less than 24 hours.

The gate was taken overnight on  January 29 and was marked, helping the officers identify and return it to its owner.