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Police are warning farmers to be on the alert after thieves targeted five farms during a single week in Yorkshire.

Thieves stole power tools and vehicles, including a quadbikes and motorcycles, from farms in the Great Ayton, Stokesley, Great Broughton, Great Busby and Nunthorpe areas.

One farm also had a Transit van stolen.

See also: Rural crime remains persistent problem

Sergeant Nick Hill, of Stokesley Police, said: “What is particularly concerning is the lengths the thieves have gone to to commit these offences.

“Several of these crimes have involved cutting solid locks and chains from doors and from some of the vehicles themselves.

“The victims have not been complacent, and had taken steps to secure their property in several cases, but the thieves had come well-equipped to overcome that security.”

Police are appealing for information from the public in relation to the following burglaries:

  • 30 March – thieves were disturbed trying to break into an outbuilding at a Great Ayton farm, damaging the building and a vehicle
  • 30-31 March – a farm in Great Broughton had tools stolen
  • 30-31 March – a farm in Great Busby had a white Transit van, registration AJ59BKU, stolen along with two generators and several power tools including two yellow wacker plates, JCB pneumatic drill, Stihl chain and stone saws
  • 30-31 March – a farm in Nunthorpe was also broken into the same evening and an 2012 Orange KTM off-road motorcycle with Jägermeister graphics stolen, registration DX12ONG – police reference 12150052402
  • 29 March-1 April – a farm on the outskirts of Stokesley was broken into and a green Yamaha Kodiak quadbike stolen.

Sergeant Hill said: “I would urge all farmers to review their security and, as well as securing their outbuildings, to also fit alarms and to mark their property.”

Suspicious people, activity or vehicles in rural areas should be reported immediately by calling 101 or contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sergeant Hill said: “Residents can be reassured that we are putting on extra patrols in the area, assisted by local Ruralwatch volunteers.”

Local residents should consider joining the Ruralwatch scheme and help police further increase patrols in rural communities, he added.