Bike thefts spark warning

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A SPATE of motorbike and quad thefts in the Borders – costing over £11,000 – have led the police to warn those living in remote locations to be on their guard, writes Kenny Paterson.

The warning has come after three incidents earlier this month in the Peeblesshire area where a total of six vehicles were stolen in the space of six days.

In the early hours of Thursday, October 11, three off-road motorbikes worth £5,000 were taken from a secure garage along the B709, five-and-half miles north of Innerleithen.

The next morning saw one road and one off-road bike worth mroe than £1,000 stolen from outside a home in Peebles.

And between Tuesday, October 16, and Wednesday, October 17, a quad bike worth £5,000 was taken from farm buildings on the Haystoun estate, again near Peebles.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “We would ask that owners to take a moment to ensure that their property is secure, never leave keys in vehicles or in open display, use quality locking devices, store bikes and quad bikes in secure sheds or buildings where possible, install security lights.

“It is worth taking five minutes to walk around your property and ensure that you leave nothing of value lying out.”

“We would also ask that members of the public report all suspicious activity to the police right away.

“If you live in an isolated position and are woken by a vehicle nearby then please do not hesitate to phone for the police.”

The spokesman said security guidance can be obtained by contacting a Borders police station.

The thefts are the latest in a line of rural crimes in the Borders this year, with leading insurers NFU Mutual telling the region’s farmers in July that they are now working in one of the most vulnerable areas for rustling.

The cost of rustling to the Scottish farming industry was estimated at more than £250,000 in 2011. However, it appears crooks are still targeting motor and quad bikes.