Officers from Rossendale Rural Task force caught a vehicle with cloned number plates and two van thieves.

On Monday (November 27), eagle-eyed officers spotted a car going to Tesco in Rawtenstall and blocked the vehicle in.

Checks revealed that the car had no insurance and the driver admitted to being disqualified so the vehicle was seized. The driver was interviewed and summoned to court.

Lancashire Telegraph: Stolen Ford Transit van Stolen Ford Transit van (Image: Police)

The following day (November 28), a Ford Transit van, which was stolen from Manchester, was located in Bacup thanks to the owner having fitted a tracker.

Two people in the vehicle tried to flee but officers tracked them down and arrested for theft of a motor vehicle.

A spokesperson for police said: “Thankfully the owner had a tracker fitted so a fast response arriving on scene took the suspects by surprise and they gave it legs.

“However, they were no match for one of our team members who gave chase and managed to detain them both! Suspects arrested for theft of a motor vehicle and currently in custody awaiting interview.

“We continue to get reports of vans being stolen without keys, particularly Ford Transit models including minibuses and this is a National issue, not just here in Lancashire.

“If you have a similar van, please consider the following to protect it by installing a tracking device, get steering/pedal locks, and lock it in when parking.

“If you have a neighbour that has one of these vans and it never moves at night and you suddenly hear/see it drive off, or you see anything suspicious, please let us know!

“We would rather have a call with good intent than a stolen van and its contents.”