TWO men have been charged after a series of thefts in West Somerset.

Jeffrey Hughes, 44, and Gareth Hayward, 20, were both charged on March 30 2021 with conspiracy to steal, in connection with a number of quad bike and trailer thefts between June 17 and July 12 2020.

They were also charged with the theft of a 4x4 vehicle from a garage in Williton on January 3 2020.

Other charges include theft of a trailer from a Chilton Polden farm on July 11 2020 for Hayward, as well as theft and handling of a cattle box trailer from a farm in Puckington on June 7 2020 for Hughes.

Both men were released on bail, and are due to appear at Taunton Magistrates Court on Thursday, April 29.

This follows an operation to tackle organised rural crime, led by Sedgemoor Neighbourhood Policing Team in partnership with Avon and Somerset’s Rural Affairs Unit and Operation Remedy.

Somerset Area Commander Mike Prior said: “This has been a true partnership of policing activity, ensuring a thorough, intelligence-led investigation which has resulted in the disruption of serious criminal enterprise, and enabled the recovery of high value stolen property farming equipment.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to members of the Somerset Farm Watch community for being our ‘eyes and ears’, contributing vital intelligence which has played a key role in bringing these offenders to justice.”