A police chief is urging the public to be vigilant after a number of thefts from rural locations, with quad bikes and trailers among the haul.
And Alnwick Inspector Paul Truscott believes that gangs from outside the area are responsible for the thefts and is encouraging residents to report any suspicious vehicles or activity.
It comes after farms and remote properties in mid and north Northumberland have been raided over recent weeks.
Overnight last Wednesday, thieves stole a green Yamaha Camo ATV four-wheel drive 450 Grizzly quad bike from a shed near Harbottle. It had been in an outhouse for repair.
This followed the theft of a £4,000 quad bike overnight on Friday, August 14, from a farm at Scot’s Gap, after the culprits had prised open a garage door, while a green Yamaha quad bike was swiped from an outhouse on a Cambo farm in mid-July.
A Brian James trailer was pinched from a Felton farm overnight on Friday, August 7, while a trailer was stolen in Welfare Park, in Red Row, in July.
Last month, hundreds of pounds of bailing wire was taken from farms in Eldson and Harbottle.
Inspector Truscott said: “There has been some thefts from rural areas recently and we are putting this down to organised criminal groups who are coming from outside the area. We are urging people to contact us if they see any vehicles or anyone acting suspiciously in and around their property, making a note of the registration number, make and model and possible direction of travel.
“We are warning farmers that thieves are taking advantage of the busy harvesting period and are reminding them to ensure that keys for personal vehicles and agricultural machinery, are kept securely away from the vehicle and out of sight.”
In May, travelling crooks Ashley Fisher, 27, from Stockton, and Stephen Robinson, 42, from Durham, were jailed for more than 16 years for their part in a rural crime spree – amounting to nearly £450,000-worth of vehicles, quad bikes and farming equipment – which included thefts around Northumberland.