Man to appear in court after stealing three farm quad bikes

Farmers have recently reported an increase in quad bike and ATV thefts
Farmers have recently reported an increase in quad bike and ATV thefts

A man is due to appear in court next month after he was charged with stealing three quad bikes from farms in North Yorkshire.

The 28-year-old man, from Keighley in West Yorkshire, was arrested in connection with the high-value thefts.

On 27 December 2019, two farms near Askrigg, Richmondshire, were targeted by the man.

Police and local Rural Watch group members attended and sighted suspicious vehicles in the area. All three stolen quad bikes were recovered.

Following forensic enquiries, he was arrested by North Yorkshire Police Rural Taskforce officers.

He has been charged with stealing three quad bikes and power tools, worth a total of about £13,000, from two different farms.

He is due to appear at York Magistrates Court on 9 December 2020.

It comes amid an increase in farmers across the UK using tracking security devices on farm machinery to stamp out such thefts.

Last year, trackers helped Police Scotland recover stolen tractors and quad bikes worth £893,000.

How can I boost farm machinery security?

Rural insurer NFU Mutual has provided tips for farmers to secure farm vehicles:

• Remove keys from tractors, quads and loaders when they are not in use and keep them locked in a secure building.

• Keep your machine locked up and out of sight. Thieves often stake out a farm before they raid, so where possible store machinery in a locked building or where it can’t be seen from the road

• Use the CESAR marking and registration system. Markings make your property less attractive to criminals and can help recover your belongings if they are stolen

• Install immobilisers and trackers on tractors, loaders and quads. Thieves can’t take what they can’t start and won’t want to be found if they make off with your property

• Know what you own. Take pictures of your vehicle and record serial numbers

• Join a local rural watch group linked to SPARC and report any sightings of suspicious activity