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Police team up with rural residents to track down quad bike theft suspects

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Four suspected quad bike thieves are in custody – thanks to the vigilance of the Yorkshire Dales community.

At 10.50pm on Wednesday 22 January 2020, a member of the public reported a group of men trying to steal a quad bike from a property in Hawes. She shouted at the men and they ran off. However, she was able to give police a description of the vehicle they left in.

Those details were circulated to police officers in the area, as well as to Mobile Rural Watch volunteers. And at about 11.35pm the same day, the volunteers spotted a vehicle matching its description in Buckden, in Wharfedale.

Police attended, and four men were arrested in connection with the attempted theft of the quad bike. The men, aged 19, 20, 25 and 27, and all from the Bradford area, remain in custody at this time, while the investigation continues.

The quad bike, a red Honda, will be forensically examined today as part of those enquiries. The suspects’ car was seized for being suspected of use in crime.

Officers investigating the incident are asking anyone who saw anything that might assist their enquiries – in particular if anyone has CCTV in the area – to contact them. Please dial 101 and select option 1, quoting reference 12200012563.

Quad bikes are among the items most likely to be stolen in rural areas of North Yorkshire. In light of this and other recent incidents, police are urging owners to:

• 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.

PCSO Bryan Tongue, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “I would urge anyone who owns a quad bike, particularly if they live in a rural or isolated area, to take extra steps to ensure their vehicles are always left safe and secure. It’s far better to spend some time and money now on high-quality security measures, rather than have to go through the inconvenience and upset of having your quad bike stolen.”

Mobile Rural Watch volunteers operate across the North Yorkshire countryside, supporting the force’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Rural Taskforce. As this incident shows, they provide a vital role in being ‘eyes and ears’ in the fight against countryside crime.

Residents are also encouraged to note down and report any suspicious activity, such as unusual vehicle movements, particularly in remote or isolated areas. Even if the information doesn’t need an immediate response, every piece of intelligence helps the police build up a picture and could prove vital in bring criminals to justice. Call North Yorkshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Last modified: January 23, 2020