Neil Cornelius Shevlin, from Telford, was traced after CCTV footage of the van linked him to the high value theft in Llanfyllin, Powys, in 2019.
Pc Kevin Jones said: “We were contacted by a farmer who had noticed the gates at the entrance to his property were open, when he had closed them the previous night.
“He quickly realised a shed had been accessed, and a quad bike had been stolen. Power tools had also been taken from another shed, with the value of the stolen items totalling more than £8,000.
“This was a devastating blow to the victim.”
Earlier this month Shevlin was sentenced to 16 months in prison at Mold Crown Court for the Llanfyllin burglary, after pleading guilty at a previous hearing.
Pc Jones added: “Despite extensive enquiries, we were unable to trace the stolen quad bike, which was disappointing as we were able to return the other items.
“However, thanks to CCTV footage of the hire van in the area and information provided by a tracker, we were still able to charge and convict Shevlin with this theft.
“This was an excellent outcome, resulting in a cross-border criminal being sentenced to 16 months in jail."