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Posted on Monday 26 September 2022
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A big thank you to our Rural Watch members!

They’re our eyes and ears throughout the Dales and last night was no different when criminals targeted a farm in Mickleton and stole a van with a quad bike and other equipment in the back.

The Transit van came ‘online’ thanks to the tracker on the quad inside it with the information passed swiftly from Rural Watch members to officers travelling through the WhatsApp group.

The vehicle was then added to the force hotlist – making all patrolling officers aware as B Relief Response and RPU units closed the net as it raced up toward Middleton-in-Teesdale then back down towards Bishop Auckland.

After a short pursuit, suspects decamped from the Transit in Coundon, some on foot and some on the quad itself.

One teenage boy was arrested close to the scene on suspicion of possessing Class A and B drugs and taken to custody.

The quad was also recovered from Leeholme after having been tampered with.

A Mazda believed to have been travelling in convoy with the van was also dumped and recovered in Leeholme. It had been stolen earlier from Shildon.

Extra vehicle checks also showed a Subaru also travelling back to Bishop Auckland which was stopped after officers suspected it to have also been involved in the theft. The driver was interviewed today and enquiries are ongoing.

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