JOYRIDERS started a dumper truck with the key from a tin of corned beef before smashing their way into an upmarket housing estate.
The yobs, who had managed to steal the same vehicle earlier in the day, crashed into a garden wall as residents of the Midlothian street were enjoying Sunday dinner.
The six-tonne dumper truck was parked at a secure construction site in Dalkeith next to Westerwood Park, a development of £250,000 detached homes.
The truck was stolen earlier on Sunday but had been recovered by owners Mulholland Contract Ltd and put back in the compound.
A resident, who asked not to be named, said he and his partner were enjoying their Sunday evening meal when they heard a bang outside.
He said: “Neither of us thought much of it. Then about 20 minutes later I heard someone rattling my back door and it was the police.
“The truck came out the field, through the fence, across the road and smashed into the back of my garden wall.”
He added: “The kids apparently started it with a key from a tin of spam or corned beef. The police woman turned it off with her locker key when she found it so I presume it’s a pretty generic key used to start it.”
“It was stolen earlier in the day and the contractors came out and put it back in the field compound, unfortunately in the exact same place it was parked previously and then within an hour it was gone again and parked in my garden wall.”
The homeowner added: “Thankfully we have a big wall, if it had been a fence it would’ve ended up in the house, it could’ve been so much worse – we have been pretty lucky to be honest.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Dalkeith are investigating following an incident on Easter Langside Drive where a group of youths broke into a building site and drove a digger through a fence.
“Officers are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Mulholland Contract Ltd declined to comment.