Police have issued an urgent warning to residents in rural areas of Craven to take extra security precautions for their quad bikes and Land Rovers.
There have been a series of thefts of both these types of vehicle in recent weeks. Investigations are ongoing into the incidents, with Rural Taskforce and local officers carrying out security visits, patrols and extra checks. However, officers are also urging quad bike and Land Rover owners to do their bit, by reviewing their security arrangements as soon as possible.
Recent incidents of vehicle thefts in Craven include:
· On Sunday 21 August a Land Rover was stolen from Farnhill.
· On Sunday 28 August, a man was interrupted while trying to steal a quad bike from a farm in Sutton in Craven. The suspect was seen sitting on the bike before he ran off.
· Sometime after Sunday 28 August, a quad bike was stolen from the side of the house in Stainforth, even though it was blocked in by a tractor.
· On Thursday 1 September, a quad bike was stolen from a barn in Langcliffe.
· On Saturday 3 September, a quad bike was stolen from a garage in Lower Bentham. The quad bike was attached to a trailer, which was not stolen.
· Overnight on Sunday 4 – Monday 5 September, a Land Rover was stolen from a barn in Giggleswick. Entry was gained to the barn through the roof.
PCSO Sally Breen, from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “North Yorkshire is a very safe place, but unfortunately we know that criminals travel into our county targeting isolated areas. High-profile operations and ongoing work by the Rural Taskforce is helping make Craven a no-go area for cross-border criminals – but we need residents’ assistance to make it even safer.
“I am urging anyone who owns a Land Rover or a quad bike – and particularly if they live in a rural area – to take extra steps to ensure their vehicles are left safe and secure. It’s much better to spend a bit of time and money now on better security than to go through the inconvenience and upset of having your vehicle stolen.
“Members of the public act as our eyes and ears in rural areas, and so if you are aware of any suspicious activity, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will take action.”
Owners of quad bikes and Land Rovers are being asked to follow this crime prevention advice:
· Always leave your vehicle locked and alarmed if possible
· Consider fitting an after-market approved immobiliser
· Park in a locked garage or other secure area if you have one, or in a well-lit open space if not
· Never leave the vehicle’s keys in the ignition, in the same outbuilding as the vehicle, or near your front door inside your home
· Be vigilant when using your vehicle for anyone taking an interest in it
· Consider fitting a transponder-based security marking system and tracker device
· Have the vehicle’s windows etched with the vehicle identification number
If you are aware of any suspicious activity, contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.