North Yorkshire rural crime surge sees vehicles targeted

Police have issued an urgent warning to residents in rural areas of Craven to take extra security precautions after a spate of recent quad bike and Land Rover thefts.

Land Rovers and quad bikes have been the target of criminals preying on rural communities in the Craven area of North Yorkshire.
Land Rovers and quad bikes have been the target of criminals preying on rural communities in the Craven area of North Yorkshire.

Investigations are ongoing into the incidents which have occurred over the past few weeks, with North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce and local officers carrying out security visits, patrols and extra checks.

The force is also advising the owners of quad bike and Land Rovers to review their own security arrangements as soon as possible.

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A series of vehicle thefts were reported earlier this month and towards the end of August.

A Land Rover was stolen from a barn in Giggleswick after thieves gained gained entry through the barn’s roof, overnight on September 4–5 and a quad bike was stolen from a garage in Lower Bentham on September 3.

Two days earlier, on September 1, a quad bike was stolen from a barn in Langcliffe.

A man was interrupted while trying to steal a quad bike from a farm in Sutton in Craven on August 28. The suspect was seen sitting on the bike before he ran off. And sometime after August 28, a quad bike was stolen from the side of the house in Stainforth, even though it was blocked in by a tractor.

In another incident on August 21, a Land Rover was stolen from Farnhill.

PCSO Sally Breen, from the 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:

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,

And, have the vehicle’s windows etched with the vehicle identification number.

Anyone wishing to report any suspicious activity, can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.