Police were alerted to men in a white Ford Transit van behaving suspiciously at around 1am yesterday Monday

Police deployed a stinger to bring a suspicious vehicle to a stop in the Yorkshire Dales – after vigilant rural residents helped officers to track it down. At 1 am yesterday (Monday), North Yorkshire Police received a call about men in a white Ford Transit van behaving suspiciously, possibly involved in rural crime, in the Threshfield area, north of Skipton. As police officers made towards the area, they shared a description of the vehicle on a WhatsApp group used by the force’s Rural Watch volunteers.

Further sightings were called in, helping officers trace the Transit van to Kirkby Malham, ten miles away. It continued towards Eshton, where an officer from North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group was able to deploy a stinger and bring it to a halt.

A search of the van located a crowbar, a baseball bat and a knife inside. These items were seized, and the two occupants of the van arrested. The two men, aged 28 and 17, were both arrested on suspicion of going equipped for theft and possessing an offensive weapon. They were taken to custody and subsequently released under investigation while enquiries continue.