Police warn locals after quad thefts

Police are asking residents in Branscombe to be extra vigilant after a spate of thefts in the village.

Over the Mayday weekend there were two break-ins to outbuildings, where garden tools, equipment and a quad bike were stolen.

The same night another quad bike and a pick-up truck were stolen from farm buildings in Yarcombe, with Detective Sergeant James Tarr from Honiton CID asking locals to take down registrations of all suspicious vehicles.

The Neighbourhood Beat Manager for Branscombe Steve Speariett says it is likely both offences took place late on Sunday, May 1 or very early Monday, May 2, and is appealing residents to come forward if they saw anybody or any vehicle, especially larger vehicles, looking suspicious around that time.

The garages behind the village hall were targeted, with garden tools and machinery including a chainsaw being stolen, as well as a box of tools and a red Honda quad bike registration WA03VUP being taken from Manor Hill Farm.

This followed the theft of a red Honda quad bike registration WA58GYC and a silver Ford Ranger registration WF57FPV from a farm premises in Yarcombe the same night.

DS Tarr said the community needs to look out for itself and encouraged those living and working in rural East Devon to join the Farm Watch scheme. This system helps to alert locals to crime and suspicious activity and creates a network of like-minded people to act as extra pairs of eyes and ears in the community.

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Police also revealed there were two crimes in Branscombe in April, with a handbag stolen from a parked vehicle by St Winifred’s Church on Friday, April 22, and a quantity of diesel was stolen from a storage tank on a farm between April 18 and April 23.

This compares to four crimes last month and four crimes for April 2010. There were no crimes reported in Beer, down from four in March and four in April 2010.

Anybody with any information is asked to call the police on 08452 777444, or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.