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Residents WhatsApp group helps catch Burnsall quad bike thieves

Residents WhatsApp group helps catch Burnsall quad bike thieves

Published by May Norman at 5:24am 30th March 2020.

Quad bike theft suspects arrested thanks to Craven residents’ vigilance

  • Two people accused of stealing a quad bike from Burnsall have been caught, thanks to information shared on a residents' WhatsApp group.
  • The vehicle was allegedly stole at 8.30pm on Thursday (26 March) before being abandoned in a field.
  • Police arrested the pair, who were stopped in a car a short time later for a coronavirus check.

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of stealing a quad bike in rural North Yorkshire - after being stopped for a coronavirus check.

At about 8.30pm on Thursday (26 March), witnesses called police with a report that a quad bike and a car had been driven at speed through Burnsall, heading towards Bolton Abbey, near Skipton.

The bike, a red Honda, was followed by a silver Ford Fiesta.

Vigilant local residents had used a WhatsApp group to share the suspicious circumstances with each other, and as a result contacted North Yorkshire Police with the information.

Craven police
Craven police

A short time later, police officers on the A65 stopped a Ford Fiesta and asked the two occupants about their journey – considering the current Government instruction to avoid non-essential travel.

Given the circumstances, the two people in the Fiesta, a 21-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman, were both arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary.

The man was also arrested on suspicion of drug driving, and possession of cannabis.

They remain in custody at this time.

Craven police
Craven police

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

It was recovered by police for forensic examination.

Officers are working to identify its rightful owner so they can return it to them.

Anyone with any information about the incident should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference 12200050836.

Advice on keeping quad bikes safe

Quad bikes are among the items most likely to be stolen in the North Yorkshire countryside. The advice from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce is:

  • 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 better to put in place high-quality security measures, rather than have to go through the inconvenience and upset of having your quad bike stolen.”