A stolen quad bike will be returned to its rightful owner after police tracked it down before it could be taken out of North Yorkshire.

Just before 1:00am on Thursday (August 20) a member of the public reported a quad bike being driven in suspicious circumstances through Helmsley market place.

Quads are frequently targeted by thieves in rural areas as they are small, expensive and easy to transport. Their loss can have a big economic impact on farms and other rural businesses.

North Yorkshire Police officers immediately headed to the area, cutting off nearby roads to stop the quad getting away.

Despite the darkness and fog, officers managed to find the quad at 1:40am. It had been abandoned down a track off the A170, west of Helmsley.

Although no suspects were immediately located, the quad – a red Honda TRX – was recovered and enquiries begun to locate its rightful owner.

The following morning, police received a call from the quad bike’s owner. The quad had been stolen from a locked building at a premises in Helmsley.

A tractor had been parked up against the building, but thieves had forced it back and managed to get inside.

Officers were able to share the good news that the stolen quad had already been found. A crime scene investigator has carried out forensic enquiries at the scene of the burglary.

Enquiries are ongoing to identify and locate those responsible for the theft.

The quad’s owner had followed good crime prevention advice, by parking in a locked building with a large farm vehicle blocking access.

Police are reminding all quad bike owners to take similar precautions:

  • Fit a GPS tracking device;
  • 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;
  • Secure with wheel clamps and/or locking posts;
  • Mark or customise your quad so it is easily identifiable, and keep a record, including photographs and serial numbers.

Police have urged anyone who sees or hears a quad bike being driven in suspicious circumstances – for example, in an unusual place, late at night, or without lights – to contact the police.

Witnesses should call 101 to pass information, or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Anyone with information about the theft of the Helmsley quad should call North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12200144631.