The quick-thinking pregnant granddaughter of a farmer foiled the audacious theft of high-value quad bikes from a North Lincolnshire farm.
She sprang into action when she suddenly heard noises in the night and quickly alerted the police.
The woman woke up at 2.25am when she heard the noise of intruders driving off with the bikes, valued at £5,000, and a pick-up truck, worth £12,000, from her grandfather’s nearby farm.
Police managed to find and follow the gang who had targeted the farm and within an hour, had rounded up the raiders and recovered the stolen vehicles.
The burglars smashed padlocks at the farm’s buildings and took the keys to the vehicles, including a Honda quad bike, valued at £3,000, and a Yamaha Blaster bike valued at £2,000, as well as the pick-up truck.
But the granddaughter, who lived opposite the North Lincolnshire farm, was woken by the noise of a gate being opened and the vehicles being driven around in the road.
She watched from her bedroom window and telephoned police, giving them a running commentary.
The quad bikes were on a trailer being towed by the pick-up truck.
The witness recognised one of the quad bikes as belonging to her cousin.
Police managed to find and follow the culprits after the burglary at the isolated farm in Wroot, in the Isle of Axholme, and arrested one of the gang members after a van was stopped.
The two quad bikes were inside.
Another vehicle was blocked in by police following a short chase but the driver escaped.
The trapped gang member, Lee Clarke, 43, appeared before Grimsby Crown Court and admitted burglary at the farm on January 23.
The farmer later said in a statement: “We work very hard to keep the farm running.
“No matter what we do, it’s impossible to keep anything safe these days.”
It was not the first time his family farm had been targeted.
The granddaughter said that she was on edge after the incident and felt unsafe and agitated.
She was seven months pregnant at the time and believed that the stress and anxiety would have done her baby no good.
Clarke had convictions for 40 previous offences, including burglary.
He claimed that his role in the burglary was as a lookout but did not actually enter the premises.
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He had access to a van that he used in his job as a delivery driver for parcels.
The stolen vehicles were all recovered within an hour of the burglary.
Father-of-two Clarke, of Sheffield, was jailed for 23 months and was banned from driving for 23 months.
Judge Mark Bury told him: “You were caught red-handed in the early hours in what was plainly a carefully planned burglary.
“You were obviously equipped for the offence.”
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