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Beware garden thieves eyeing up your valuables in the summer

Garden

As
the school holidays get into full swing and the hotter weather becomes more
prolonged, it’s an ideal time for opportunistic thieves to set their sights on
valuable items in gardens.

From
family bikes and expensive lawn mowers to garden furniture and top of the range
barbecues, the garden can be fertile ground for thieves to get their hands on.
Even leaving out the washing means clothing too can be a target for theft.
According to Allianz research, the average value of stolen items is £176, with
one in ten homeowners saying they have been a victim of garden theft.

Poor
or even non-existent security for these items leaves the door wide open for
nimble fingers to grab and run with personal items. Andy Jenkins, director at
independent insurance brokers Russell Scanlan, believes it’s all too easy for
thieves to steal from people’s gardens.

“Unfortunately,
thieves are taking advantage of people’s lack of precautions to secure their
garden items. We wouldn’t think of leaving the front door to our house ajar but many garden sheds are left open, and more often
than not, people leave items out in the garden, which makes them easy
pickings.  Bikes are one of the most
common items stolen from gardens and purchased brand new they can be valuable,”
he said.

Andy
Jenkinson has some top tips to tackle garden theft:

  • Lock
    your garden shed with a quality lock

  • Put
    more expensive items safely in the home or garage

  • Make
    sure side and back gates to the garden are secure

  • Inconvenience
    thieves by locking items with chain/quality locks such as garden furniture
    making them harder to steal

  • If
    you are away, put timed lights on in the house so as to not alert thieves to an
    empty house or garden

  • Ensure
    the right insurance cover is in place to cover garden theft under the home
    policy and be mindful of certain expensive items might need special cover eg
    expensive items

     

“If
people tallied up how much their garden items cost, I suspect they will be
surprised at how much it is and why it is a magnet for theft. Taking the right
security precautions like locking the shed, bringing in expensive items into
the home or garage will help reduce the risk of theft and an insurance claim.”

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