Police issue plant machinery warning after theft in area

A man has been arrested in a van full of suspected stolen building site machinery in Knaresborough.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 4:28 pm

At 8.20pm on Thursday September 24, North Yorkshire Police officers on patrol near the town spotted a red Peugeot Boxer van in suspicious circumstances.

The van was brought to a stop near the roundabout of the A59 and A658, east of Knaresborough.

When officers opened it up, they found a generator, wacker plate, cutting saw and other plant machinery inside.

The driver and sole occupant of the van – a 41-year-old man from Durham – was arrested on suspicion of theft. He was released on bail this evening, with a condition not to enter North Yorkshire.

Enquiries are ongoing to identify the rightful owner of the equipment found in the van. It is suspected to have been stolen from construction sites in the local area.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Building sites and compounds – particularly those in rural areas or isolated areas – are, by their nature, vulnerable and attractive targets for criminals.

“That’s why it’s important to take extra security measures. Wherever possible, keep vehicles, plant and power tools in a secure and well-lit area, preferably a garage or outbuilding. Consider CCTV, fuel cap alarms, cages and other security measures.

“Parking vehicles close to solid objects to prevent access – can have a strong deterrent effect. Also, get your property security-marked.”

“Permanent marking, like a ‘dot peen’ mark, may deter thieves, as it makes the equipment far harder to sell on.

“It will also be much easier for us to return it to its rightful owner if it is lost or stolen, and could provide vital evidence to secure a prosecution.

“The equipment on building sites can be worth many thousands of pounds, which is why it’s so important to keep it safe.

“We want the message to go out to would-be thieves that targeting sites in York and North Yorkshire is simply not worth the risk.”