Police are issuing advice after three quad bikes were stolen in the north and west of Northumberland this week.
The first was stolen from a farm shed in Ealingham area of Hexham. The red Honda quad was taken overnight between 9pm on Tuesday and 7am on Wednesday. (Reference: 202 05/04/17)
Another quad was stolen from a farm building in East Heddon, on Heddon on the Wall, again overnight between 5pm on Wednesday and 7am yesterday. Thieves forced the lock to gain entry and steal the quad. (Reference: 130 06/04/17)
A third incident happened at a farm in Craster, at around 4.30pm yesterday, when a red Honda quad was stolen from a shed. (Reference 843 06/04/17)
Now police are urging all quad-bike owners to take extra precautions to help prevent further crimes.
Tynedale Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges said: “We want to remind people to make sure they keep their quad bikes secure when not being used.
“We know that if they get the opportunity thieves will sneak-in and steal quads, as they are valuable pieces of farm machinery. Their loss can cause the farming community real hardship as they are seen as essential by most farmers and used on a day-to-day basis.
“I’d urge owners to make sure they remove the ignition keys when they park up and keep their quads secure when not in use.
“Do think about crime prevention in your premises and don’t make easy for thieves to steal from you. Please ensure your quad is secure at all times, identifiable and follow the crime prevention steps below.
“We’re also asking members of the rural community to report any suspicious activity to us so we can do all we can to stop thieves in their tracks.”
Police are also advising farmers to keep an eye out for stray quads or other pieces of farming machinery they may spot in unusual places, as thieves are known to steal a piece of machinery and hide it on the land so they can come back later when it’s quiet to spirit it away.
Top tips to prevent quad bike theft
Remove the ignition key from the bike when you’re not on it;
Don’t leave your quad in the open, keep it indoors;
Make sure the building you use is secure and consider installing a ground security device;
Keep vehicle keys in a locked area and out of plain sight from a door or window;
Park your quad next to a wall and behind a bigger piece of machinery – to make it more difficult to steal;
Consider fitting a tracker type device on it – most insurers will give you a discount on your insurance premium for doing so;
Sign up to Farmwatch to receive regular crime prevention advice.
For further crime prevention advice, visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/crime_prevention/rural_and_farm_crime/