POLICE have taken the unusual step of naming a man they want to speak to in connection with a series of church burglaries across North Yorkshire.

Detectives have issued an appeal to find 50-year-old Christopher John Coulthard, from Warwickshire.

Police believe he could have information which could assist their investigation into 15 burglaries reported over the past week.

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Coulthard is also wanted by Warwickshire Police for recall to prison after breaching the terms of his licence.

He was jailed for nine years in 2010 but released on licence in November 2012.

He is known to travel around the country on a bicycle and stay at bed and breakfasts, pubs and hotels using a false name.

Detectives are urging staff in the hospitality trade to contact the police if they recognise Coulthard as one of their customers.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option two and ask for Northallerton CID.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Recent church burglary reports include St Andrew’s Church, Finghall, Leyburn, St Andrew’s church, Aysgarth, St Bartholomew’s, West Witton, Leyburn, St Michael’s Church, Spennithorne, Leyburn, Holy Trinity, Wensley, near Leyburn, St Mary’s Church, Masham, St Curthberts and St Oswalds, Winksely, Ripon and St Michael’s Church, Littlethorpe near Ripon. Nothing was taken from any of these churches.

At Holy Trinity Church, Ripon, the church was broke into a petty cash tin containing an amount of cash was taken from a secure room.