Bike thefts: Weekend raiders break into sheds and steal 4 quads in a night

Farmers in Flintshire have become victims of a professional gang of quad bike thieves, with more than £15,000 of ATVs stolen in just one night.

The thefts happened overnight between 5:00pm on Sunday, June 23 and 8:00am on Monday, June 24 in Northop, Kelserton, Kinnerton and Saltney Ferry, Flintshire.

Police said the culprits used equipment such as crowbars they had found on the farm to force open doors.

John Wrench, a beef and arable farmer, from Hawarden, was shocked to discover that not only had his 2011 Yamaha Grizzly 350 (worth around £2,500) been stolen but three other bikes were also taken from six farms targetted the same night.

“The worst thing is that the thieves broke through a security door and roller shutter to get into the shed the bike was kept in – there’s no way we could have prevented the theft,” he said. “It was definitely a professional job.

It seems they walked through the fields, cutting padlock and chains on six gates and used any tools that they could find to break in.

“The damage was even more annoying than losing the bike – so much so that we shall not be replacing it. We’re going to use an old, small 4×4 instead.”

Protecting your quad

Meanwhile, at the Llanwrst Show, another Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) member, Andy Hughes, was showing a new anti-theft device he has developed to reduce the risk of robbery.

The QUADCLAW is hand fabricated in Andy’s workshop at Brynford, Holywell and he said the contraption had been drawing a lot of interest.

“The increase in ATVs being stolen is worrying for everyone. The idea of the claw is to reduce the chance of losing your expensive bike from chance thieves,” he said.

The claw is designed to secure the quad by locking it under the handlebars. It can be attached to a wall or kept freestanding, making it suitable for most storage scenarios.

FUW Insurance compliance director Roger Van Praet advises any farmers buying a new ATV to register it, and also fit a tracker.

The cost of these two simple and relatively cheap options will help to deter the theft of these highly saleable bikes, increases the chance of getting the vehicle back and may also reduce the cost of insurance.

“Other sensible precautions include keeping the ATV in a solid building with security doors which is close to the farmhouse, installing security cameras and lights.”