BRAZEN thieves broke into a Solihull school's compound in broad daylight and stole a bright yellow JCB.
The telescopic handler, owned by Fairways Construction, weighs more than a tonne and travels at a top speed of 8mph.
The vehicle, pictured, was hired for use by builders carrying out renovation work at Lady Katherine Leveson in Temple Balsall on Monday, when the burglars struck.
They disabled the tracking device and immobiliser around 6pm before driving the enormous vehicle out onto the main road.
Paul Miller, managing director of Fairways said: "What surprises me is that they drove it along the road.
"Normally people who steal telescopic vehicles put them on the back of a lorry and get out of town quickly."
It is thought the stolen JCB was headed towards Whitlocks End and Majors Green.
"There must have been a massive amount of cars trailing behind," said Mr Miller.
He believes the thieves were "well-organised" because of the mechanical work involved in taking the vehicle.
"They must have known what they were doing; it was definitely not the work of chancers or joy riders to get the tracker disabled and move the JCB."
Unfortunately, the JCB - worth around £45,000 - was not yet insured, leaving Paul thousands of pounds out of pocket.
"It's the responsibility of the company that hire the handler to insure it. To do so, the JCB needed to have an immobiliser, tracker and manual steering lock need fitted - and we were due to have the lock delivered on Thursday (yesterday)."
Paul is offering a £5,000 reward for information leading to the return of the vehicle, which can be recognised by the Fairway stickers on the back and side. ..SUPL: