A large-scale police operation was carried out in Norton last night (Thursday) after a shotgun was stolen from a vehicle.

Specialist resources were scrambled to the scene to aid the search, including a police helicopter, after a suspected opportunistic thief took the unloaded licensed shotgun from a 4x4 vehicle parked outside a takeaway food outlet on Commercial Street in Norton at around 11.13pm.

A police spokesperson said: "The suspect also made off with a mobile phone, wallet and keys from the vehicle that had not been locked while the occupants, who had been out shooting, collected their order.

"They spotted the man running off in the direction of Mill Lane and gave chase, but they could not find the suspect.

"A range of police enquiries and searches got underway including house-to-house and a trawl of CCTV in the area.

"Specialist resources were scrambled to the scene to aid the search, including a police helicopter.

"The suspect was spotted by a Neighbourhood Policing Team officer at 1.15am heading into allotments.

"A police dog and handler attended and located the suspect. He was arrested at 1.32am.

"The 48-year-old local man remains in custody for questioning.

"The stolen items, including the firearm, have been recovered the police."

North Yorkshire Police is liaising with Humberside Police regarding the firearm which is licensed in their area.

Witnesses or anyone with information that could assist the investigation are urged to call North Yorkshire Police on 101.

Or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or make an online report.

Please quote reference number 12240095442 when providing details.