POLICE have urged 4x4 vehicle owners in rural Denbighshire to ensure their property is safe following a recent spate of organised crime.

North Wales Police issued the warning after seven quad bikes were stolen in just over two weeks. Most of the burglaries were targeted at farm locations that included Ruthin, Cyffylliog, St Asaph and Llangollen.

The spike is part of a Wales-wide trend as organised criminals take advantage of the longer nights.

Rural Crime Team manager Rob Taylor said:“We are seeing a surge of quad bike thefts by organised criminals who are determined to get past locks and security devices to take the machines.”

Vehicle thefts including quad bikes and tractors, as well as machinery are regularly tackled by rural policing units in Wales, with many organised criminals travelling from across the English border. Quad bike thefts have now become a national rural policing priority.

Mr Taylor added: “Criminals will usually visit the area before the thefts by making an excuse to be on a farm, such as asking for directions. We remind owners to up their security measures and to report registration numbers of cold callers’ vehicles to their farms every time to the police on 101.

“We will follow up the call and it will help us to trace the offenders.”