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Posted on Thursday 28 July 2022
John Fenwick

A burglar who was chased down after trying to steal quad bikes from farms has been jailed.

John Thomas Fenwick was pursued in the early hours of February 27, 2021 after making off from the scene of a burglary in Teesdale.

The 28-year-old made off in a Ford Transit van then fled on foot in Cockfield before being tracked down and tasered by officers on the ground, with the help of the police helicopter.

A quad bike stolen from the Cumbria area the previous night was recovered from the back of the van, which was also stolen.

When interviewed, Fenwick claimed he had agreed to drive a stolen quad bike but denied driving the van.

Fenwick, of Eggleston Walk, St Helen Auckland, initially admitted handling one of the stolen quad bikes, but denied dangerous driving and handling the stolen van and the quad bike recovered from it.

The case was set to go to trial, but Fenwick changed his pleas and admitted the other offences last month.

He also admitted a charge of burglary at a magistrates’ court hearing after another quad bike was taken from a farm in Scargill, Teesdale, last December after his DNA was found from a cigarette butt on the farm’s driveway.

In total, all three quad bikes that were stolen, were recovered.

Fenwick was sentenced to 20 months in prison and also banned from driving for two years and ten months.

Inspector Ed Turner said: “Fenwick is a prolific offender in our rural communities, so it is good to know he is back behind bars.

“We have great support from our rural residents and particularly, Rural Watch volunteers, who continue to help us to help them and I would encourage anyone interested to get involved.”

For more advice on security measures in rural areas and how to join Rural Watch visit or email

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