FARMERS in the Whitby and Ryedale areas are being reminded by police to secure their vehicles and machinery in the run up to harvest.
The warning comes after a dumper truck and a generator were stolen from the area recently.
Sergeant John Clayton, of Ryedale Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The harvest season is important for farmers and they can ill-afford to lose equipment at such a crucial time.
“It is vitally important that expensive machinery is not left in fields overnight. This makes them an easy target for thieves who can operate unseen in rural, unlit areas.
“Make sure your equipment is stored in locked buildings where possible and the keys are not left in them.”
Sgt Clayton also urged residents to ensure that their sheds and outbuildings are protected against thieves.
He added: “It is important that people take responsibility for their property and making sure that shed and outbuildings are properly secured is a step in the right direction.
“Use good, strong locks to secure outer doors and even consider locking up items which are stored inside sheds and outbuildings.
“It is also a good idea to install outside security lighting which can act as a good deterrent to potential thieves.
“Another must to help prevent rural crime is to report any suspicious activity to the police so we can act upon it and build up a good picture of any ongoing criminal activity.”
To report any suspicious activity in your area contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.