A stolen John Deere Gator UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) was found by police minutes after it was stolen from a farm in England  – and a suspect was arrested a short time later.

The vehicle was taken from a farm in Yorkshire, according to North Yorkshire Police.

It will be returned to its rightful owners, and the man remains in custody, where he is also being investigated for a number of other non-residential burglaries, it was added.

Just after 1:50am this morning (Monday, November 30), North Yorkshire Police received a report that a quad bike had just been stolen from a farm north of Northallerton.

The caller reported seeing the Gator being driven off at speed down their driveway.

Officers based at Northallerton and Stokesley responded immediately, and at 2:10am they found the quad abandoned just off the A67 at Kirklevington, south of Yarm, with its engine still running.

Knowing that any suspects were likely to be nearby, officers contained the area and began a search, the police force said.

At 2:30am, they found a man covered in mud, in a bus shelter a few hundred metres away from where the quad was abandoned.

The man, aged 24 and from Stockton-on-Tees, was arrested on suspicion of burglary, vehicle theft and vehicle interference. He remains in custody at this time.

The stolen quad was recovered for forensic analysis, and will then be returned to its owners.

Inspector Sarah Sanderson, of North Yorkshire Police, said:

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 – at a time when farmers can ill-afford any further disruption.

“If you see or hear a quad bike being driven in suspicious circumstances – for example, in an unusual place, late at night, or without lights – contact the police. Call 101 to pass information, or 999 if a crime is in progress.”