Early on Wednesday 16 December 2020, a farmer in the Craven district, near Gargrave, received an alert that his quad bike was being moved.
He called North Yorkshire Police on 999, and officers set off towards the remote location.
When they arrived, the suspects had fled over fields into the darkness. However, they left empty-handed, leaving the Honda quad behind them in the farmyard.
Without the vehicle tracker alert the farmer wouldn’t have known the bike had gone.
Enquiries are ongoing, including forensic examination of items at the scene of the burglary.
Sixteen incidents involving the theft of quad bikes were reported across North Yorkshire in October 2020 – the same number as in October 2019.
Quads are specifically targeted by criminals, as they are relatively small, valuable and left in sparsely-populated areas.
Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said:
“Quite apart from their monetary value, the loss of a quad can have a really significant impact on farms and other rural businesses.
The good news is security measures, in particular vehicle trackers, can be extremely effective.”
Following these incidents, officers are urging all owners to increase the security around their vehicles:
- Fit a GPS tracking device.
- 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 quad.
- Secure with wheel clamps and/or locking posts.
- Mark or customise your quad so it is easily identifiable, and keep a record, including photographs and serial numbers.