A GROUP of thieves have targeted rural communities in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police believe that a group is responsible for the increased thefts of flatbed trailers, horseboxes and horse-riding equipment.

The thefts have been reported in rural areas surrounding York, Ryedale and Hambleton, along with villages in East Yorkshire.

Police have a Rural Task Force, dedicated to dealing with crime in the countryside. They have increased patrols in rural areas and ask people who live and work in the countryside to report anything suspicious on 999.


Inspector Mark Earnshaw of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force said: "The impact of crime to the rural community cannot be underestimated, whether it be the emotional cost from being a victim, to the financial cost of replacing the high-value equipment.

"I advise people who live or work in rural communities to take immediate action to further protect their assets and property.

"Following this recent spate, we have increased patrols to try and catch the offenders in the act.

"But we can’t be everywhere, so I’m asking that people remain vigilant. If something doesn’t look right, then it probably isn’t, especially after dark."

The force have also issued recommendations to owners of similar machinery. They recommend installing: trackers, alarms, an immobiliser and CCTV.

Police also recommend shackling machinery together and removing keys from the premises when not in use.

If you have any information which can help the investigation, then please call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote reference number 12230209632.