A Darlington man has been arrested in a joint police operation after a quad bike was stolen in rural North Yorkshire last night (Thursday, November 17.

North Yorkshire Police said officers were alerted after reports of a stolen quad bike in Richmondshire.

Minutes after the alleged theft, officers saw the bike near Barton, heading toward the County Durham border and tried to pull it over - but it raced off into the night.

The Northern Echo:

Later a car believed to be linked to the crime was stopped and a man in his thirties was arrested.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "It’s one of many arrests we’ve made in recent months following a spate of quad bike thefts in rural areas.

"Several officers were already in the area conducting patrols due to the recent spate of thefts, so we were able to arrive at the scene and start area searches within minutes.

"Nine minutes after it was reported stolen, we saw the vehicle near Barton, heading towards the County Durham border.

"We tried to pull it over but it failed to stop and disappeared into the night."

The spokesperson added: "Fortunately we’ve been working with neighbouring police forces, with joint operations to tackle rural crimes like this one, and our colleagues in Durham stopped a car which we believe was linked to the offence.

"The driver has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and his car was seized as it is suspected of being used in a crime.

He’s also been arrested on suspicion of an attempted quad bike theft at a large rural property with stables in Richmondshire the night before."

The man in his 30s from Darlington is in police cells and the investigations are ongoing.

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The spokesperson said: "North Yorkshire has been hit hard by quad bike thieves in recent months. Some thieves have come into the county from West Yorkshire, Teesside and County Durham.

"We’ve responded with a large-scale operation that involves 24-hour patrols in key areas, joint deployments with neighbouring police forces and developing specific criminal intelligence.

"It’s resulted in numerous arrests in recent months, including this one."