MANY people in South Tyneside are being warned not to make life easy for thieves.
Police say thousands of pounds-worth of sports equipment, tools and bicycles are being stored in garden sheds and garages with inadequate locks. There have been 258 break-ins to garden sheds, garages or back yards since last April and most, say police, had inadequate locks or people simply failed to lock them at all. Although the previous year's figure was 429 burglaries, residents are being warned to give sheds and garages a security overhaul. They also want people to think about the goods they leave in garden sheds, because many of the items stolen cost more than the shed itself.
In recent burglaries, golf clubs and fishing equipment, worth hundreds of pounds, have been stolen . Bikes and tools are also favourite targets for thieves. Neighbourhood Inspector, Peter Sutton, said: "Burglaries to garden sheds and garages have fallen dramatically in the past year – with 171 less crimes reported to police. "But, despite our repeated appeals, we are still seeing garden sheds with inadaquate security and, in some cases, none at all. "Yet owners are keeping high-powered, often very valuable, tools and other expensive items inside, believing they will be safe. "Criminals like to target properties with the minimum of fuss so an unlocked garage, an open shed window or an ill-fitting lock are an open invitation to any passing thief."
He said that taking heed of simple crime prevention advice will limit people's chances of becoming a victim. Other advice includes marking all property with the owner's name, postcode and house number to make it harder for thieves to sell on and to chain bikes together or to a secure point.
(Reproduced from The Shields Gazette, Feb 11th)
Gardien Tip: All the above is sound advice. More advice and product solutions can be found at www.garden-security.co.uk