High-powered vehicles in North Yorkshire targeted by thieves for use in ATM raids, police say
Owners of high-powered vehicles in the Harrogate district are among those who have been targeted by thieves who have then used them for ATM heists, police have said.
A report to Harrogate councillors from North Yorkshire Police's inspector for Harrogate Rural, Steve Breen, provided updates on "two-in-one burglaries" - in which a house is burgled with the aim of stealing car keys and accompanying vehicles as well.
Among the information contained in the report was that high-powered vehicles were being targeted by criminals in the district, who then use them in crimes in neighbouring regions.
"These have mainly been Audi RS3 models which intelligence suggests are being stolen to order and also being used as the preferred vehicle in ATM attacks in North West and South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Cleveland areas," the report from Insp Breen said.
"The Harrogate District as a whole is an affluent area and many of these vehicles are owned by residents."
He said that Neighbourhood Policing Teams have visited owners of similar vehicles in Knaresborough and Boroughbridge to give specific security advice.
They've also held mobile police surgeries in the areas affected by the crime, including Appleby Estate and Aspin Estates in Knaresborough.
The targeting of high performance vehicles is one of two burglary crime trends that have impacted Knaresborough, the report states, with the other being the looting of unoccupied homes at Lido Leisure Park.
"This year this had obviously been researched by a criminal/criminal gang and a large number were burgled," the report said.
Insp Breen added that a full investigation including forensic examinations of every home was completed.
A full review of the security of the private site has been instigated by the owners with advice from the police suggesting CCTV coverage and mobile private security during the closed season.
Councillors were informed of specific examples of police action too - such as Operation Extricate in Ripon, which was instigated to target the suspected ringleader of a crime group involved in two-in-one burglaries and drugs trafficking.
"This individual was recently charged and remanded to prison pending trial, work is now ongoing to bring as many charges as possible against him and to keep him in prison for as long as possible," Insp Breen's report stated.