TWO people have been arrested on suspicion of trying to steal quad bikes from a North Yorkshire farm – and told to stay out of the county.

North Yorkshire Police say that a vigilant farmer spotted suspicious activity on his land yesterday morning, Monday, June 29. He followed the two suspects into nearby fields, while another family member called North Yorkshire Police on 999, just before 7.20am.

Police officers and a police dog arrived within 15 minutes – and arrested a man, aged 24 and a 17-year-old boy from Hartlepool.

The 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and burglary.

Gloves, a spanner and a knife were seized from the 17-year-old. He was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, burglary, going equipped for theft and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "On examining the scene – a farm north of Northallerton – it was established that a secure garage had been broken into, and tools and two quad bikes removed. The quad bikes – both Honda vehicles with unique agricultural attachments – were located nearby. Unfortunately they had been damaged, and may cost hundreds of pounds to repair.

"Both suspects were taken into custody and interviewed. Last night they were released on bail while police enquiries continue. Both have been given bail conditions not to enter North Yorkshire for any reason, other than answering bail."

Speaking earlier this year, Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Quite apart from its monetary value, the loss of a quad can have a significant impact on a farm or other rural business – particularly in these difficult times, when farmers really cannot afford any further disruption.

“Police patrols in rural areas have not stopped, so if you see or hear anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to call us. If a crime is in progress, or someone suspected of a crime is nearby, call 999. If you don’t need an emergency response, please report anything suspicious to us using the 101 phone number. Any piece of information could help us build up a picture and bring criminals to justice.”