Spate of quad bike burglaries triggers warning to farmers

There has recently been a rise in thefts of quad bikes in rural areas in Wales
There has recently been a rise in thefts of quad bikes in rural areas in Wales

The police have issued a warning to farmers after four separate quad bike burglaries happened overnight in Wales.

Thieves used equipment such as crowbars to force their way into farm sheds in Northop, Kelserton, Kinnerton and Saltney Ferry.

The string of incidents happened overnight on Sunday 23 June into Monday morning.

North Wales Police Rural Crime Team has urged farmers in the area to review their security and report any suspicious activity.

Elsewhere, Brecon Police officers have been running an ongoing operation to tackle quad thefts.

There has recently been a rise in thefts of quad bikes in south Powys. Seven have been stolen since the end of April.

Officers from the local beat, roads policing and the Rural Crime Team are working with neighbouring forces to tackle the issue.

PC Tom Songhurst said: “We have increased patrols in rural communities to protect those vulnerable to quad theft and will continue with our efforts.

“Can I ask all farmers to play a part in keeping their property safe and take steps to secure their quad bikes appropriately.

“Take keys out of the ignition and store them safely away from the machines.”

According to statistics from NFU Mutual, the cost of farm vehicle theft rose by £500,000 in 2017 and is big business for organised gangs, both domestically and internationally.

The rural insurer has issued guidance to farmers on securing quad bikes and other vehicles:

• Where possible, vehicles should be housed in a lockable garage or building, ideally with security lighting installed to the perimeter

• Vehicles should always be locked when not in use, with the keys kept hidden and locked away in a secure location

• Keep recordings or photographs of serial numbers and vehicles as these can be crucial in recovery, should the worst happen.

• Invest in a quality padlock and chain, such as those approved by Secured By Design - a police approved product scheme. Securing to a fixed point on the ground or something that takes time to remove will also act as a deterrent

• Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you only briefly leave your ATV unattended

• Keep gates to yards closed as open gates can be an open invitation to thieves.