Cross-border crime was disrupted last Thursday evening after a Staithes resident reported suspicious activity in the village.
At around 11pm the person called North Yorkshire Police, who located a van and arrested its two occupants when stolen property was found to be inside.
Officers have praised the member of the public for acting on their instincts and alerting the police to the suspicious activity.
Inspector Andy Colbourne, of Whitby Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is a perfect example of how information from members of the public helps the police, highlighting why you should call us if you suspect something is not right.
“Our thanks go to the person who called us for their vigilance and quick thinking.”
The member of the public reported the van after it drove through the village with one of the occupants holding on to some ladders that were on top.
Officers patrolling the North Yorkshire Moors as part of Operation Hawk spotted the vehicle on the A171. They followed the van as it made its way past Scaling Dam and along an unclassified road until it came to a stop on the Cleveland border.
The van stopped at a property and one person was seen to get out of the vehicle. He was arrested by officers.
A short time later, a second man was arrested at a property nearby.
A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed suspected stolen property including ladders and wooden sculptures. A trailer parked close by contained three barrels of beer and lager, also suspected as being stolen from a pub on the moors. Both the vehicle and property were seized by the police.
The two arrested men include a 22-year-old and a 16-year-old youth, both from the Cleveland area.
Insp Colbourne added: “If you suspect suspicious activity is going on, please do not hesitate to call us - no matter how insignificant you may think the information is. Your information can and does lead to arrests and the disruption of crime. If you have a good description of the vehicle or suspects and a registration number, this can be of great help to us.
To report suspicious people, vehicles or activity, call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and select option 1.