Man charged as part of £430,000 rural crime probe

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An East Durham man has been charged with a number of rural crimes in Northumberland.

Stephen Robinson, 41, of Wordsworth Avenue, Wheatley Hill, has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.

He was jointly charged with Ashley Fisher, 36, of Dunkeld Close, Stockton.

They were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into 70 separate crimes in the Northumbria, Cumbria and North Yorkshire areas, between January and July.

About £430,000-worth of vehicles, quad bikes and farming equipment were stolen in the raids.

The pair have been remanded in custody and will appear at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on November 27.

Chief Inspector Peter Reeve of Northumbria Police said: “Keeping our rural communities safe is a priority for us.

“We work with local residents, farmers, landowners and our neighbouring rural forces to stop rural crime, and I can reassure the public that this work will continue.”

The charges come during Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling those involved in opportunist crime, and promoting crime prevention advice.