Three people were arrested last night after a theft in Wensleydale.
Police initially responded to reports of a road accident in Moor Road, Askrigg, at 8.45pm.
On arrival they found a white Ford Transit van on false plates, which had crashed into a house.
The occupants had made off from the scene.
On the back of the transit was a small excavator which had been stolen from the Hawes area.
At 9.55pm, as a result of police enquires traffic officers spotted a red Vauxhall Astra in Leyburn Road, Catterick Garrison.
The female driver and two male passengers were arrested on suspicion of theft and other offences.
They are from the Darlington and County Durham areas and remain in custody while our enquiries continue.
Inspector Mark Gee, from Richmondshire neighbourhood policing team, said: “Thanks to the community for the fast reporting of the traffic collision, this allowed officers to respond quickly and to commence enquiries.
“This clearly led to early arrests.
“There have been other offences in the Hawes area last week, and clearly we will be working to see if these are all linked.”
Anyone with any other information is asked to contact the police on 101 quoting incident number 12200208670.