Halifax quad bike raider targets farmer’s barn

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A Halifax raider targeted an alarmed barn and stole a £4,000 quad bike after following tracks to the building, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard that Luke Naisbitt, 25, and an accomplice rode off on the Suzuki machine – described by a district judge as “valuable” and “essential” to a farmer in Earby area – late at night, just two days before Christmas.

Tyre company worker Naisbitt claimed he and two others had just been driving around the area and he had had no intention of stealing anything.

He was caught by the police and the bike was recovered from a ditch.

But, District Judge Meirion Lewis- Jones said the barn was targeted.

He told the defendant: “The fact it was alarmed didn’t deter you or the two that were with you.

“I’m afraid you are on the way to becoming a criminal in a more serious vein.

“I am not going to send you to prison, but you must be very careful that you don’t do this kind of thing again. I have a nagging feeling in this case that this was well-planned and carried out just before Christmas by people anxious to get a very high value item which could then be sold.”

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the bike belonged to Mr Richard Bowker, who had secured the barn.

The alarm was activated at 11-25pm, which coincided with noises being heard outside. The £1,000 alarm was damaged beyond repair.

She continued: “The defendant said he stole the quad bike.

“He was driving about with two other men in a vehicle and noticed quad tracks into the barn.

“He said they were driving about all over the place. He refused to name the two other men. He said they were just friends. He had no intention to steal.”

The defendant’s solicitor said he pushed the bike out of the barn and he was the passenger on it. They ran out of fuel. He added: “He pushed it off the road to one side.”

The defendant, of Stanningley Drive, admitted burglary on December 23.

He was given a 12-month community order, with 40 hours unpaid work and must pay £500 compensation.