Man from Liverpool arrested after early-hours quad bike chase near Northallerton

Police chased a gang of quad bike thieves through the North Yorkshire countryside after they were spotted behaving suspiciously.

Quad bikes are vital for farmers in North Yorkshire but are often targeted by thieves

A man called 999 at 3.30am on the morning of Thursday June 11 when quad bikes were driven past his home in Danby Wiske, near Northallerton.

Specialist roads policing officers with pursuit training were sent to the area immediately.

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Just after 3.45am, one quad bike with three people riding on it was spotted leaving Danby Wiske and heading towards Streetlam. It failed to stop for police and was pursued until it came to a stop in a hedgerow.

Two of the riders made off into the fields, but one was immediately caught by officers and arrested.

The quad bike, a red Honda, was recovered for forensic examination. Police have sent details of the suspected stolen vehicle to local residents via North Yorkshire Community Messaging, so that its owner can come forward and claim it.

The rider caught by officers, a 22-year-old man from Liverpool, was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle. He was taken into custody, and has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

The two other men, aged 28 and 19, were arrested the next day after a woman driving to work spotted them walking along a road towards Northallerton looking 'wet and dishevelled'. One remains in custody and the other has been released under investigation.

They were also detained in connection with another attempted quad bike theft on the evening of the 11th, after their accomplice had been caught, when a farmer disturbed two men trying to take his vehicle out of a barn in Ellerton, near Scorton, when his GPS tracker alerted him that it was moving. They fled the scene without the quad.

Quad bike theft is one of North Yorkshire Police's rural crime priorities as their loss can have a significant impact on farmers, who often own and depend on them for agricultural work.

Among the victims of quad bike theft is Amanda Owen, the 'Yorkshire Shepherdess' who appears in the Channel Five series Our Yorkshire Farm. A quad was taken from her sheep farm at Ravenseat in Swaledale last summer.

Quads are targeted by thieves as they are often parked in remote, rural areas and are easy to transport.

Rural residents have been advised to contact police if they see quads being driven late at night or in the early hours, as they are unlikely to be used by their owners at these times.

In March, a young couple were arrested at a police roadblock in the Dales intended to catch drivers breaking lockdown after an alert about quad bike theft.

Residents of Burnsall used a neighbourhood Whatsapp group to share their suspicions when they spotted the quad and a Ford Fiesta being driven at speed through the village towards Bolton Abbey at 8.30pm on the night of March 26.

Police were called and told to look out for the vehicles. Shortly afterwards, the Fiesta was stopped at a roadblock on the A65 and its two occupants questioned about the purpose of their journey.

The driver, a 21-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary, drug driving and possession of cannabis. His passenger, a 22-year-old woman, was detained on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary.

The quad bike was found abandoned in a nearby field, having smashed through a gate.