North Yorkshire police have arrested a man in relation to a series of thefts from rural premises, after a stolen van with false plates was stopped.
Officers from North Yorkshire’s Roads Policing Group stopped a Ford transit van on the A629 western bypass near Skipton, North Yorkshire on Tuesday June 2.
The force acted on intelligence about the vehicle and noticed the model did not match the vehicle registered with its registration number.
It is believed the suspect was involved in a series of offences, including the theft on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) from the Pateley Bridge area last month.
Police said the van, which contained a set of vehicle ramps inside, had previously been reported stolen from the Dewsbury area.
A spokesperson said: “The driver, a 33-year-old man from Bradford, was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, theft of a motor vehicle, driving while disqualified, and conspiracy to steal.
“He was taken into custody and released under investigation by the Rural Taskforce while enquires continue.”
The force has urged residents and businesses in rural area to check the security of agricultural vehicles such as quad bikes and ATVs.
The NFU Mutual Rural Crime Survey in 2019 found quad bikes and ATVs were being stolen from farms across the country in large numbers.
About 15 quad bikes were stolen in April and May from the Ribble Valley area, Lancashire, with the county’s police force issuing a text message to farmers, warning of a Ford Transit which was driving onto farms and acting suspiciously.
The NFU Mutual survey also revealed tracking devices were the most effective security measures, once basic measures of keeping vehicles out of sight in a building with the machine secured had been addressed.
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.
Fit a GPS tracking device.
Secure with wheel clamps and/or locking posts, and consider an alarm.
Mark or customise your quad so it is easily identifiable.
Keep a record of all vehicles, including photographs and serial numbers.