Stolen off-road vehicles returned to owners after being found in woodland

Two stolen off-road vehicles have been returned to their owners after being found in woodland.

Police received separate reports on Monday that a Kawasaki quad and a Polaris off-road vehicle had been stolen from the Leyburn area and the Kirby Stephen area of Cumbria.

The thefts were circulated on social media and later the same day, a Rural Watch volunteer contacted police to say their CCTV system had spotted the stolen vehicles driving away.

Rural Watch volunteers headed towards the area where the vehicles had been seen and both vehicles were found in woodland away from the road near Barden.

Inspector Mark Earnshaw, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, said: “It was a fantastic effort from the Rural Watch volunteers to find the stolen vehicles, which have been returned to their rightful owners.

“This is another great example of the community working with the Rural Task Force to protect their local area.”

“Thanks to the Rural Watch information, enquiries are ongoing to identify the offenders.”

Anyone with more information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference 12240044633.

Owners of quad bikes, particularly in rural areas, are urged to check the security of their vehicles – and in particular, fit tracking devices to help locate them and bring offenders to justice.