Thieves grab garden gear as nights get lighter

garden1-768508With the long-awaited British Summertime just around the corner, homeowners are being warned to lock their garden sheds and garages as light-fingered thieves will be out to take advantage of the extra daylight.

Analysis of ten years of claims data (2003 – 2012) from Aviva reveals that thefts from gardens and outbuildings shoot up by 20% when the clocks go forward with the average haul totalling around £850.

And thieves will be keen to get their hands on anything within easy reach – from children’s toys to bikes to garden tools:

Of the garden equipment stolen last year:

42% of thefts were for power tools, of which 56% were drills
39% were for simple hand tools like spades, shovels, rakes and forks
19% were for electric and petrol lawnmowers, chainsaws and ladders**
However, the thieves don’t just wait for British Summertime to begin before they start looting gardens, as the lighter evenings in March show a 10% increase in thefts compared with the dark nights of January.

And as the nights get lighter the number of claims increase, with July and August peeking at almost 30% higher than at the start of the year.

Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriting manager at Aviva

, says; “We’re all looking forward to a bit more sunshine, but lighter evenings also mean all your expensive power tools, bikes and children’s toys are more visible to passing criminals.

“So after a day in the garden or doing a bit of DIY ensure everything is secured away inside your home, shed or garage. And remember items such as ladders and wheelie bins are perfect for burglars to use to get into your home, so keep them out of reach and out of sight if you can.”

Aviva’s Top Tips to beat the shed burglar

Don’t tempt the thieves in, put away your garden tools, paddling pool, trampoline and bikes at the end of the day
Lock your sheds and out-buildings, replace any rusty padlocks.
Close gates and repair damaged fences – deterrents are sometimes the best prevention.
Hide or cover bulky items which can’t be locked away, such as large gas barbecues and picnic benches.
Lock up ladders and secure wheelie bins – they are perfect for giving burglars a leg up into the rest of your home!

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