Rural vehicle theft warning

Police are warning people who live and work in rural areas to lock their vehicles while going about their work.

The warning comes after an increase in the theft of vehicles which have been left unlocked with the keys inside or nearby.

PC Wayne Whitfield of Stokesley Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: ”Thieves have cottoned on that farmers and other rural residents often drive high-end, expensive vehicles and leave them unlocked with the keys in the ignition or nearby.

“We suspect that it may be common practice in rural areas and we want to warn all vehicle owners to be vigilant, keep their vehicles locked and secure at all times - and keep your keys with you.

“We suspect a team of offenders are targeting rural areas looking for the opportunity to commit such offences because they know it provides them with easy and rich pickings.

In the latest incident a grey 2009 Land Rover Defender was stolen from a property on the road between Seamer and Hutton Rudby near Stokesley between 10am and 2pm on Friday, September 16.

Anyone who has any information contact Police on 0845 60 60 247,