Police have this week urged farmers in the Burnham-On-Sea area to be extra vigilant after five quad bikes were stolen from farms in Cheddar and Axbridge and a further two from other parts of Somerset.

Over the past week, a blue Yamaha was removed from a farmyard in Stretcholt, three quads were taken from an outbuilding near Axbridge and a red Honda quad was stolen from a farm outbuilding near Cheddar.

However, the latter was fitted with a tracking device, which the victim was able to activate via their tracking company. Officers were able to trace the vehicle to Weston-Super-Mare and have since returned it to its owner.

Inspector Joanna Mines, from the Rural Crime Team, said: “I know we repeat the message regularly regarding fitting tracking devices and I do realise that there is a cost element, which can be prohibitive to some people. However, out of all the quads stolen we have been able to locate and return the vehicle where a device was fitted, working and activated. This obviously also aids our investigation.”

“Quad bikes are attractive to thieves, so I would ask owners to make sure they employ some relatively simple crime prevention methods to minimise the risk of losing their vehicle and make life harder for thieves.”

“Don’t leave the keys in the vehicle, use a combination key box if multiple people need access to them. Store them overnight in locked buildings, or box them in with other larger vehicles so they can’t be moved. If at all possible fit a tracker and/or an immobiliser.”

The Rural Crime Team is now investigating the thefts and appealing for information from the public.

Insp Mines continued: “If you have any information as to who may have been responsible for any of these thefts, please get in touch with the Rural Crime Team.”

To pass on information call the 101 number. Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name or trace your call.