A Land Rover was driven at police as its occupants made a desperate bid to escape capture after officers spotted three stolen vehicles travelling in convoy through a village near Keighley.

Officers engaged in Operation Buckaroo, which is aimed at disrupting the activities of travelling criminals, spotted the suspicious convoy heading through Sutton-in-Craven.

The convoy was being led by a Ford Maverick 4WD, with an unlit quad bike in the middle and the black Land Rover Defender at the rear. They were heading towards The Ellers at 1.45am last Tuesday, January 29.

A police spokesman said: “The officers followed at a discreet distance awaiting further units when the quad bike turned down a track and the other two vehicles stopped in the road.

“The Land Rover reversed into the track and flashed the police vehicle to pass forcing it to engage its blue lights which caused the Ford Maverick to make off towards Laycock where it was subsequently found abandoned.

“The Land Rover set off towards the police vehicle but a collision was narrowly avoided and the vehicle made off in the direction of Sutton and remains outstanding.

“The quad bike was abandoned at the scene and the rider is believed to have made off on foot towards Pole Road.”

Police say the Land Rover and quad bike had been stolen from a farm at Flasby, north-west of Skipton, along with a Makita drill, AEG drill and Black & Decker hand tools in a tool box, and the Ford Maverick was subsequently reported stolen from Braithwaite, Keighley.

Police are trying to trace the occupants of all three vehicles and anyone with information is asked to contact DC Paul Smith at Skipton CID on 101 or the confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.