A SPATE of quad bike thefts has prompted police to urge owners to be vigilant, particularly in rural areas.

In the latest incident, the thieves were thwarted by a tracking device as they stole two quads from a farm near Harrogate in the early hours.

The farmer was woken just before 2am on Thursday by a notification from a tracker he had fitted to his quad bikes.

He could also hear the sound of quads being driven away and he called North Yorkshire Police.

At around the same time, the force also received a call from the tracker service about the stolen quads.

The two quads were tracked heading towards Bradford, and officers immediately passed the details to West Yorkshire Police.

Both quads were found and have now been returned to their rightful owner and police say the incident highlighted the importance of good quality quad bike security measures – particularly vehicle trackers.

Earlier in the week, police arrested two people on suspicion of conspiring to steal a quad bike in rural North Yorkshire after they were stopped on the A65 heading towards Bolton Abbey.

Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Unfortunately, quad bikes in remote, rural areas are often targeted by thieves.

“Quite apart from its monetary value, the loss of a quad can have a really significant impact on a farm or other rural business – particularly in these difficult times, when farmers really cannot afford any further disruption.

“The good news is security measures, in particular vehicle trackers, can be extremely effective.

"In this case, we have managed to recover two stolen quad bikes the very same night they were stolen, thanks to trackers.”Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call 999.