A man has been arrested after suspected quad bike thieves were caught in the act – then pursued by police in a high-speed chase in the Yorkshire Dales.
At 2.30pm on Sunday 13 October 2019, North Yorkshire Police received a call from a member of the public in the Kilnsey area, reporting two men behaving suspiciously around a premises where quad bikes were parked.
North Yorkshire Police officers immediately made towards the area. At 3.20pm, a further report was received of an attempted quad bike theft at a premises near Starbotton. Two suspects were disturbed and left empty-handed.
At 3.50pm, officers spotted two motorcyclists near Bolton Abbey. They immediately reacted to the marked police vehicle by making off at speed, crossing onto the wrong side of the road and into the paths of oncoming vehicles.
In hot pursuit, officers deployed a stinger ahead of the bikes in the village of Addingham. One motorcyclist made off, but the second dropped his bike and ran away over a hedge. Members of the public helped direct officers, and a man was found wet and covered in mud, a short distance from where the bike was abandoned.
The man, who is 18 and from Bradford, was arrested on suspicion of the theft of a motor vehicle, failing to stop, dangerous driving, and driving without a licence or insurance.
He has been released on bail – with a condition not to enter the Craven district for any reason while the investigation continues.
The abandoned motorcycle turned out to have been stolen from a property in Kilnsey the same day. It will be returned to its rightful owner.
North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce is reminding all quad bike owners to take extra precautions, as these vehicles are often targeted by thieves:
- Park as close to your premises as possible, ideally in a locked outbuilding with CCTV and security lighting, preferably out of sight from nearby roads.
- Remove keys when not in use, and do not leave them near the vehicle.
- Fit wheel clamps and/or locking posts, and consider an alarm.
- Mark or customise your vehicle so it is easily identifiable.
- Consider fitting GPS tracking devices for high-value vehicles.
- Keep a record of all vehicles, including photographs and serial numbers.