Thursday, July 30, 2009


HUMBERSIDE Police are urging the public to stop the sneak thief by being aware of the dangers of burglaries caused by insecure properties.
The warning comes as it becomes warmer and windows and doors become left open for ventilation or people spend more time tending to their garden.
Consequently this time of the year traditionally signals an increase in sneak-in burglaries where opportunist burglars target homes with open windows or doors.
Nearly one in three burglaries is down to an insecure door and window being left open or unlocked.
In one incident on Wednesday 22nd July 2009 a mobile phone was stolen from a kitchen worktop from a house on Carr Lane in Willerby.
The incident took place between 1830hrs and 1945hrs.
In this incident the offender entered the property through an insecure side door and took a Blackberry Pearl mobile phone, whilst the owners were in the back garden.
In order to help reduce the number of burglaries like the incident above, Humberside Police have launched a ‘Stop the Sneak Thief' campaign.
The aim is to offer crime prevention advice and reduce the number of sneak-in burglaries.
As part of the campaign people are being urged to take the online security challenge at This is an interactive website that challenges people to put their crime prevention knowledge to the test

(reproduced from 30th July)

GARDIEN Tip: For comprehensive advice about Garden Security, visit

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bicycles stolen from garden

THIEVES clambered over a 6ft fence to steal two bicycles from a Peterborough garden.
The theft happened between 10pm, on Sunday, and 7.10am, the following day, in Aydon Road, Peterborough. One cycle has a silver female frame and the other is a distinctive red Big Mo Rider Chopper with an air horn on the back wheel and a rusty front mudguard. Anyone with any information should call Thorpe Wood police station, on 0345 456 4564, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111

(Reproduced from the Peterborough Evening Telgraph, 28th July)

GARDIEN TIP: Bicycles should be stored away in a metal shed to make them invisible and to protect them from theft. See the Asgard range at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Secure your sheds in Redditch

REDDITCH police are warning people to secure their sheds after several at the Tile House Allotments in Plymouth Road were broken into over the weekend.
Offenders broke into several sheds and took tools and gardening equipment.
Peter Aston, Redditch police’s crime risk advisor, said: “Police traditionally see an increase in the number of shed break-ins at this time of year so it’s crucial shed owners ensure they have sufficient security in place to prevent their belongings being stolen.
“Residents can improve the security of their sheds by fitting good quality locks to the shed door. The fittings should be bolted through the shed door and reinforced at the back with a steel plate. Any hasp should have concealed screws.
“For sheds that have exterior door hinges, replace existing screws with security screws which are designed so that they cannot be unscrewed once they are screwed in.”
He also recommended fitting shed windows with an internal grille fixed to steel plates, putting up net curtains so intruders can’t see inside, using battery operated alarms or having the house alarm upgraded to include the shed.
This and other advice can be found in a leaflet called Tips to Nip Garden Crime in the Bud which is available from police stations and garden centres in West Mercia or can be downloaded from
Anyone with information regarding these break-ins should call Redditch police on 0300 333 3000 or Crimestoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555 111

(Reproduced from the Redditch Advertiser, July 22nd)

GARDIEN TIP: Read the SECURE SHED article on the Home page of and then look at the quality products available to solve the problems.

Theft of motorcycle from Eyres Monsell

Police are appealing for witnesses following the theft of a motorcycle from Tovey Crescent, Eyres Monsell, near Loughborough.
The incident happened between 5.30pm on Saturday July 18 and 3am on Sunday July 19, when it was discovered that the bike had been stolen from the front garden of a property.
The motorcycle is described as a white and red, Yamaha 125 motorcycle.
PC Tiffany Lynch, the officer investigating the incident, said: The victim is very keen to get back his motorcycle and we want to appeal to anyone with information to contact us.
If you were in the area at the time of the incident and can remember seeing anyone acting suspiciously then we want to hear from you.
Alternatively, if you have been approached by someone trying to sell a motorcycle like the one in the picture, or know of someone who has acquired one, then we need you to call.
Anybody with any information is asked to contact PC 4294 Tiffany Lynch on Leicester (0116) 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer's identification number 4294. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers, which is free* and anonymous on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from Loughborough News, 21st July)

GARDIEN TIP: If you don't have a suitable shed or outbuilding in which to store items, then use a Ground Anchor and Security Chain to render theft extremely difficult (available shortly from Also use Property marking to help the police return goods to their rightful owner - see

Sunday, July 19, 2009

'Cement gnomes to ground to stop thefts' say Sussex Police

Police have told theft-hit gardeners to cement gnomes and ornaments to the ground to stop them from being stolen.
Sussex Police has issued the advice to householders after a number of thefts across the county.
Officers say another way to avoid thefts is to move decorations out of sight.
Garden furniture, bird baths, gate post ornaments, gnomes and even shrubs are among items that have been stolen.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Police have noticed a recent spate of thefts of garden ornaments and are encouraging people to consider moving ornaments from view or cementing them down.”
She added: “We are also advising our victims to check architectural reclamation yards for the more unusual items being sold on or via eBay or similar websites.”
The advice comes after the latest theft where four garden urns worth £400 were stolen from a garden in South Harting, near Midhurst.
Phil Gallagher of the crime management unit in Bognor said: “We will be stepping up patrols in the area and are encouraging home owners to be vigilant."
Police have said the majority of thefts have been concentrated in the west of the county although others elsewhere have also taken place.
Last week The Argus reported how award-winning gardens at sheltered housing in Newhaven had been targeted.
Residents are now too afraid to leave decorations in the garden in Neills Close after a gnome, 14 china ducks and two china mice were stolen.
People in the sheltered accommodation, which is run by Lewes District Council, were left baffled as to why the ornaments were taken as none of the items, which included garden lights, are valuable.
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police's Brighton and Hove division said there had not been a spate of gnome thefts in the city.

(Reproduced from the Brighton Argus, 19th July)

GARDIEN TIP: All the advice you need to minimise the chance of becoming a victim can be found at

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tips to Beat Garden Crime Campaign in Lisburn

Safer Lisburn Community Safety Partnership and the local PSNI Crime Prevention Officer are being supported by B&Q at Sprucefield to raise awareness of the theft of valuable garden equipment from sheds and homes in the area.
Shoppers will be given their free leaflet entitled ‘Tips to Nip Garden Crime in the Bud’ in the store at Sprucefield; outlining simple measures people can take to protect their gardens, garden equipment and sheds. Further leaflets will be supplied to customers and circulated throughout the district via Community groups and other organisations.
Constable Willie Johnston, Crime Prevention Officer from Lisburn PSNI, stated, “We are keen to ensure that thieves do not have access to easy pickings. Many people don’t realise just how valuable the contents of their garden are. It is important therefore that residents are aware of the preventative measures they can take to reduce their chances of falling victim to this type of theft and to protect their property.”
“Historically this is a time of year when the theft of second-hand garden equipment increases due to the good weather, people working in their gardens and the demand for cheap gardening equipment. We hope the information contained in the leaflet will prompt homeowners to take the appropriate steps to protect their property” said Jacqueline Crockett, Communications Manager, Safer Lisburn Community Safety Partnership.

(Reproduced from Police Service of Northern Ireland web site, 17th July)

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Family's anguish over cruel theft of memorial

Thieves have stolen a shrine to a cancer victim, leaving a family distraught and outraged.The 150lb stone birdbath placed in memory of Aileen Clingham-Lindsay has been stolen in the latest ghoulish attack on mourners at Cambridge Crematorium. Aileen, a bird lover, died with her children by her side on October 27, 2004 - one day after her 75th birthday. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer just 22 days earlier.
Her son, Chris Clingham, 47, of Waterbeach Road, Cambridge, was with his sister Karen Pinder, 52, of Milton, when they discovered the "despicable" theft on Sunday. Mr Clingham said: "My sister has really been set back by this. It's like my mother died all over again."What is wrong with our society when the grief for lost ones that we share is completely disregarded by mindless idiots whose only thought is themselves? "My mother loved garden birds, and we thought it would be a fitting memorial to her to build a birdbath at the crematorium."
The theft comes after an elderly woman was recently mugged in the crematorium. The News has reported several thefts from mourners' cars and the stealing of 150 memorial plaques last year. Mr Clingham said: "For four years now, we have had a beautiful spot in the Memorial Woodland to be with her, but when my sister and I visited, our shock and outrage could not be contained. "The birdbath had been stolen. It was soul-destroying to walk through the woodland only to see a big empty gap where the birdbath had been just a few days ago, and because it wasn't there the area looked completely lifeless. "This was a calculated act of theft which took absolutely no account of the devastating impact that it would have on the family and friends of the person it was there to commemorate. "It is a beautiful piece, and I hope that whoever stole this receives absolutely no joy from it, and I pray that not a single bird visits it in its new location, and that it becomes as barren as the hearts of the people who stole it. I hope the thieves are proud of their actions, and I'm sure their families will be pleased to know that they took a birdbath that in itself is just a birdbath, but in reality is actually the heart of a grieving family forced to grieve again." A police spokeswoman said: "The effect that thefts of sentimental items have on individuals and families can be enormous, as in this case. It is disgusting that thieves should prey on memorials in places which people regard as sacred. I can only hope the thief finds a conscience and returns the birdbath." Anyone with information about the theft should contact police on 0345 456 4564

(Reproduced from Cambridge News, July 15th)

GARDIEN TIP: Read and follow the advice we offer about Outdoor Items at

Swing seat stolen from Kidderminster garden

A THREE-person swing seat was stolen from a garden in Kidderminster.
The beige metal framed swing seat was in the back garden of a home in Aggborough Crescent at 2pm on Sunday but was discovered missing at 6pm the same day.
A police spokesman said the swing seat was “quite heavy” and officers suspect at least two people would have been needed to carry it.
Anyone with information or who thinks they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Sunday should call Kidderminster Police on 0300 333 3000 or Crimestoppers, free and anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Peter Aston, Kidderminster Police’s crime risk advisor, said: “Police traditionally see an increase in the theft of garden furniture, hanging baskets, and garden ornaments at this time of year and items such as this are safer kept in a rear garden rather than in a front garden.
“Benches, planters and ornaments can be bolted permanently to a concrete base, while stones can also be placed at the bottom of lightweight pots to make them heavy to carry.
“Hanging baskets should be positioned high up where possible, where it will be difficult to get them down, or plastic cables, which can be bought cheaply from DIY stores, can be used to secure them to the bracket, as most thefts are opportunistic and it is unlikely the thief will have a pair of scissors with them.
“Police recommend storing lighter items of garden furniture such as loungers in a locked shed at night or when no-one is around.”

(Reproduced from The Shuttle, July 18th)

GARDIEN TIP: All the above advice and much more is available at

Police hunt Northampton chicken thief

Police are appealing for information after two men climbed a garden fence to steal a chicken from a Northampton garden.
The chicken was one of two taken from the garden of a property in Towcester Road between 11am and 7pm last Friday. A witness saw two people climb over a garden wall and take the two chickens. One was returned to its owner, but the Weissmuller, which has the same colourings as a pheasant, is still missing. Police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the chickens being stolen or to anyone who may know of the whereabouts of the chicken. Witnesses or anyone with information about the whereabouts of the chicken is asked to contact police on 03000 111 222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from Northampton Chronicle & Echo, July 18th)

GARDIEN TIP: Make access to your garden as difficult as possible by following the advice at the following locations - and

Home Owners Should Take Effective Measures To Prevent Garden Theft

As the heat wave starts and the patio furniture and BBQs appear from the shed,, the UK's largest match making service for home improvers and recommended tradesmen, is encouraging home owners to take effective measures to prevent garden theft this summer.
Recent research has revealed that 24.2 per cent of British home owners have fallen victim to outdoor theft and with the average garden containing £1,040 worth of outdoor furniture, garden tools, children's play equipment and BBQs, it's certainly worth home owners increasing the security of their gardens -- and there are many ways in which this can be done.
Keeping boundary hedges in good order and even planting thorn bushes and prickly plants around the edge of the garden are simple but effective deterrents to potential thieves. A further tip is to ensure that all fences and garden gates are secure and have not deteriorated over the winter period - if they have, home owners should consider employing tradesmen to rectify the problem.
Garden theft increased by 63 per cent during the summer months in 2008 with London seeing the highest volume of claims for stolen garden tools and, it is predicted that this figure will be replicated this year.
Ottokar Rosenberger, Sales and Marketing Director of commented: There are many precautions that can be taken to ensure that gardens are secure this summer, such as installing good garden security lighting but it is equally important that home owners make sure that their home insurance covers their gardens as with some policies this is not the case and if the worst happens, they are not covered.
Whether seeking anything from recommended carpenters, local plumbers through to garden designers, can assist home owners who are looking for tradesmen recommended by others; the site covers 25 different trades all across the UK.

(Reproduced from 11th July)

GARDIEN TIP: For detailled advice and recommended products visit

Is your garden insurance covering everything

I have just spent over £600 on a new laptop computer and I am very pleased too. It's not top of the range but hey, it has a fast processing speed, 4gb of memory and enough storage to suck in the highest resolution photographs - it does the job.
I now have the flexibility to travel and take my everyday office with me and the built in wi-fi lets me hook up to ad hoc networks wherever. I also have the flexibility to work in the garden if I so wish.
It crossed my mind that if I did choose to work in the garden, I would not leave my laptop unattended if I decided to pop to the shops or go out for the day.
I would lock it in the house, out of sight and secure in the knowledge that my insurance would cover the cost should the house burn down or the house was broken into and the laptop stolen.
It's funny how I take this view on a piece of high tech equipment - it applies to my Cannon G10 camera too - yet I think nothing of leaving a £2,000 patio set on the terrace.
I have read an article on the Moneysupermarket site today that highlights how so many householders are under insured for their garden.
"Whether you've picked out new sun loungers or bought a brand new barbecue in recent weeks chances are that the value of the items you keep in your garden reaches £1,000s - indeed the average garden contains more than £700 worth of plants, trees, bushes and shrubs alone according to research from Marks & Spencer.
Yet despite this, most home insurance policies only cover outdoor items up to a value of around £500 - meaning you could be well under-insured in the event of a theft, malicious damage, storm or other type of loss."
It's so true. I can think back to my last garden - I spent so much on plants and materials. Some ironwork that had been specially commissioned by a blacksmith but I can also picture many of my clients' gardens which were left exposed to unscrupulous raiders when the house was left unattended for a day or more.
One of my clients even had the patio stolen one day. I kid you not - an old stone cottage on the outskirts of Selborne in Hampshire dating back to about the 1600's.
The property was left empty most weekdays as the clients lived primarily in London because their work was there. At least four days of the week the house, located in a sleepy lane and surrounded by trees and hedges, was an easy target for thieves and, in a single day, the old York stone flagged patio - about four tonnes of it - was lifted and driven off site.
There was so much else that I can remember would have been vulnerable. An expensive submerged pond pump, a tennis net in the court behind the house, large stone garden ornaments, wheelbarrows and gardening tools, not to mention thousands of pounds worth of plants.
If you are planning to employ a gardener or landscaper then it is worth doing your homework beforehand.
The BBC reports a group of 'cowboy' gardeners who are currently working in the the mid Wales area near Llandrindod Wells, Powys, who are not only carrying out shoddy work, they are using the opportunity to distract householders to steal from them.
It's worth checking your policy.

(Reproduced from, July 8th)

GARDIEN TIP: All the advice you need and available security products are to be found at

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Moneysupermarket issues garden insurance warning

Moneysupermarket is urging those sprucing up their gardens and planning al fresco entertaining to ensure their gardens are well protected.
Garden cover is included in most home insurance policies as standard, but the levels of protection can vary greatly.
Cover for items kept outdoors has a limit of £250 with some providers such as Churchill, or up to £2,000 with esure, and unlimited cover from M&S Money.
It is also crucial to consider possessions stored in outbuildings and sheds, housing expensive items such as lawnmowers, and bikes for example. These should be as secure as they would be within the home. Again, providers offer varying levels of protection; cover of up to £2,000 is available with HSBC, whereas cover with MoreTh>n has a £75,000 limit.
Julie Owens, head of home insurance at Moneysupermarket, said: “With more Brits choosing to stay at home this summer, we are all falling back in love with our gardens. But regardless of whether your patch is big or small, for Brits forking out for the latest garden furniture, high-tech gas barbecues and patio heaters, the costs can easily run into the thousands. It’s therefore essential homeowners consider the cost implications of theft or damage to garden items.
“When looking at garden insurance, it is important to consider the value of your garden and the levels of cover required. Landscaped gardens and costly furniture items are easy targets for thieves, as are elaborate statues and expensive plants. A thief will seize anything of value, so it’s important to take necessary precautions to protect your garden, and read the small print to determine exactly what is covered. It is also vital to consider the expensive items and equipment kept in sheds, out-houses and other storage areas. These can still fall victim to garden crime, so it is essential to keep outbuildings locked and, where possible, not to showcase what you own.”

(Reproduced from 6th July)

GARDIEN TIP: Use our free Inventory to calculate the true value of your garden contents - available at Then follow the insurance advice at

Monday, July 6, 2009

Average garden contents valued at over £1500

With temperatures soaring, the Met Office forecasting a "barbecue summer" and sales at garden centres up by 20% so far this year, it appears that we are set to spend this summer enjoying time in our gardens. However, this could mean that some garden items, to the value of around £1,500, could be at risk of possible theft. It is surprising how the value of the various items we have in our gardens can add up, and that’s not including the cost of the plants, shrubs and trees which we are also likely to have purchased. Legal & General has calculated that the value could easily be over £1500 and closer to £2000 if children’s toys are also included. A typical household insurance policy will provide cover of up to £1000 for contents that have been left in the garden. Contents stored in an outbuilding such as a shed, are normally covered up to a limit based on the sum insured under the contents policy. Legal & General has developed an online calculator in the form of a 3D virtual home which enables customers to ‘tot up’ the value of their possessions, room by room and it also includes the garden. This service may help customers to place a more accurate valuation on the items that they have in their gardens and to check that they do have adequate level of household insurance cover in place. The calculator is available at Garry Skelton, Marketing Director for Legal & General's general insurance business, said: “It is easy to forget the items we have in our gardens or outbuildings and just how their value may really add up. Doing a quick check online, using our calculator, could provide peace of mind that adequate cover is in place. We also recommend that people just remind themselves of some of the common sense steps you can take to ensure your property is secure and so reduce the risk of theft.”

(Reproduced from 6th July)

GARDIEN TIP: A comprehensive Garden Inventory calculator is available at - it is far too easy to underestimate the real value of items outside the house. Insurance cover for outdoor items is also frequently less than the figure of £1,000 quoted in the article so look closely at your policy wording and particularly check the points at

Pensioner falls victim to bird thieves

A distressed Angus pensioner yesterday said he feels like giving up breeding budgies after some of his best birds were stolen at the weekend.
Jim Shepherd, 79, from Brechin, lost 14 of his budgerigars during a raid on his aviary overnight on Friday.
The action of a heartless thief also almost killed three recently hatched chicks, which were less than a week old.
Both parent birds were stolen, and the chicks were left uncovered in their nesting box for several hours.
Mr Shepherd managed to save them by finding a surrogate mother among his other birds.
Mr Shepherd, who has been breeding and showing budgies for almost 60 years, keeps more than 100 birds in the aviary at the bottom of the garden, behind his Montrose Street home.
He discovered the birds were missing when he spotted three empty cages at about 7.30am on Saturday.
One of the missing birds is worth about £350, and Mr Shepherd said yesterday he thought the thief knew which ones to target.
It was also the second break-in this year. Two birds were stolen after an incident in February.
Speaking about the latest theft, he said: “A couple of them were challenge certificate winners, which have won best in their group at shows. When I came down from the house in the morning I saw I’d left a window open and ran over to shut it.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever left one open, and they seem to have got in that way.
“I saw I’d lost the birds and just panicked. I didn’t find the three youngsters until about 9am. I didn’t see the parents, but thought they were in the nesting box with them.
“It’s a bit bizarre. None of the other cages had been touched, and if it was me, and I didn’t know what I was looking for, I’d have taken the whole lot.
“They could have let all the birds out, so I suppose I’ve been lucky.”
Mr Shepherd said four breeding pairs had been taken along with four younger birds and six eggs. Some breeding birds can change hands for up to £1,500 or £1,600, but he added none of his birds were worth that much.
He said: “You can maybe breed a really expensive one maybe once in a lifetime.
“The ones I lost were good show birds because of their shape and size. I’ve been breeding better birds this year than in recent years.
“You wonder if it was personal or if it was just the birds they wanted.
“I had a show today and had birds entered, but I felt so sick about it I couldn’t go. I’ve thought a bit about giving up, especially as this is the second time.
A Tayside Police spokesman said: “Given the choice of birds stolen, it’s suspected that the person responsible for this theft will have experience in keeping these birds.
“It is requested that any person who has information relating to the theft of these budgies, or any information about their current whereabouts, contacts Tayside Police.”
Anyone with information can contact the police on 0300 111 2222.

(Reproduced from The Press and Journal, 6th July)

GARDIEN TIP: Sadly almost anything of value can be a target for thieves as garden crime continues to grow so follow the free advice at

Thief blasted after tree is stolen

A thief has already targeted the New Look West End development in Pantyffynnon just weeks after the opening of the site in South Wales.
The suspects stole a Japanese Acer tree from the newly-opened garden on Friday night and the theft has left one community leader fuming.
Former town mayor Carol Cadman, who played a key role in the development, said: “I am both angry and disgusted that a person has stolen a Japanese Acer tree from the newly-opened New Look West End.
“The project cost in excess of £45,000, only to be spoilt by an inconsiderate and thoughtless thief.”
Cllr Cadman said the tree was the only item stolen but said she hoped the CCTV camera sited close to the garden would help police identify the culprit.
“I’ve been told the camera has been turned so that it’s pointing at the garden, so hopefully that will help us catch whoever has done this.
“It has really left me furious,” she said.
Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact Ammanford Police on 0845 3302000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

(Reproduced from the South Wales Guardian, 6th July)

GARDIEN TIP: Valuable trees should be planted with a Rootball Anchor to protect them against theft. See

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Who stole Harry's beloved tractor?

LITTLE Harry Davison can't understand why thieves have pinched his ride-on tractor.
The grey garden toy was one of his favourite things and, although it doesn't look like much to anyone else, someone broke into his family's garden and stole it.
His mum Lucy said more items have been taken from their garden, along with others in Randwick, Stroud.
But she's not sure whether young pranksters are responsible or if thieves are sweeping the area for garden toys and furniture and selling them at car boot sales.
"He is only three-and-half," said Mrs Davison, 39. "He says he is very sad. It is very hard to explain to him what happened. It was nothing special but he loved playing on it.
"He is obviously very upset, not least because this is the second time it has happened.
"Last time, the culprit had clearly gone down the road harvesting goods as he went, as our neighbours lost their child's bike, and others lost solar lights.
"We suspect that garden toys and items are being taken overnight and then flogged at car boot sales."
Although it is only a relatively low level crime, Mrs Davison urged all thefts to be reported to police to give them a picture of what is happening in the area.
"Many families will have had the same happen to them or will have it happen in the future," she said. "Although the police and Crimestoppers are very helpful, there is little they can do, as people do not always report garden theft."
She believes in some cases thieves' vans, usually with two men inside, stake out the area by day and return at night to collect.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity in the Randwick area, or who may have seen Harry's tractor, should call police on 0845 090 1234, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from 4th July)

GARDIEN TIP: Follow the advice available at

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sisters' heartache at pet rabbit theft

TWO young sisters have been left heartbroken after thieves sneaked into their garden and stole their pet rabbit.
Amy and Katie Wilkinson woke on Monday to find three-year-old Milo had gone.Thieves had broken into the shed, where the hutch was kept, and took the silver Angora rabbit. A second rabbit and two guinea pigs were left behind. The raiders also escaped with the youngsters' pedal bikes and a 10ft trampoline from the front garden of their home in Prince Edward Road, The Nook, South Shields. Mum Jill Wilkinson, 45, said: "It's Milo who we are concerned about. We have had him for years. "I am gutted - absolutely devastated. Amy and Katie were in tears when I told them he had gone. He is just a lovely, lovely pet – a beautiful rabbit. "It is the third time the family has had to come to terms with the loss of a pet. In the past the family have had one rabbit stolen and another killed. Amy, 10, said: "I feel really sad. Milo is the best pet we have ever had. "Her sister Katie, nine, added: "He is part of the family." And together they appealed to the public to help find him. It is thought the shed burglary of the rabbit, trampoline and bikes happened sometime between 8.30pm on Monday and 5.30am on Tuesday. Neighbours are also being encouraged to look in their gardens for the rabbit. Neighbourhood Sergeant Paul Walters said: "The burglary has been reported to police and is currently being investigated. "The disappearance of the rabbit, in particular, has left two children very upset, and we would appeal to anyone with information on its whereabouts or to the burglary to contact us." Anyone with information or who comes across Milo is asked to contact police on 03456 043043, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

(Reproduced from the Shields Gazette, 4th July)

GARDIEN TIP: Anything of value stored in a shed needs good protection. See the advice at

Holsworthy has a vegetable thief

POLICE are hunting a vegetable thief who is digging up plants in Holsworthy, North Devon
Officers have received five reports of various vegetables being dug up and stolen including potatoes, lettuces, onions and shallots.
An allotment in the Coles Mill Bridge area was targeted three times between June 16 and June 22 when a padlocked gate was also damaged.
And vegetables were taken from a private back garden in Sanctuary Road between June 23 and 29.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Holsworthy Police Station on 08452 777444.

(Reproduced from

GARDIEN TIP: Nothing is sacred so minimise the risk by making entry to your property as difficult as possible. Follow the advice at

How Home Insurance Applies to Gardens

The summer is here and it has arrived in style with temperatures soaring and the Met Office predicting a "barbecue summer". It’s no wonder then that homeowners across the UK are stocking up on garden items with garden centre sales reported to have risen by around 20 per cent so far this year. However, with a collective spend of more than £4billion a year on garden items it’s crucial that property owners ensure they have suitable home insurance in place. According to Virgin Money home insurance, around one in seven gardens are targeted by thieves with more than 5,000 homeowners a week suffering thefts. What’s more is that the value of items stolen quickly adds up - it’s not just the odd garden gnome that disappears but it is regularly items that collectively cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Research from Legal & General shows that the value of typical garden items often reaches around £1,500 and could potentially reach £2,000 or more if children’s items are included in the total. According to an assessment of typical garden items at B&Q and Homebase, it found items to be worth the following on average: garden furniture £300; seat pads/cushions £65; sun beds/relaxers £50; barbecue £125; garden lights £20; ornamental plant pots £120; sheds/greenhouses £300; lawnmower £130; garden tools £180; garden ornaments £100. On top of this many children’s items are typically left outside including trampolines (£110); inflatable pools (£25); swings/slides (£85); and bikes (£50). It’s well worth calculating the value of the items you keep in your garden to see how much they are worth and then consider whether the home insurance you have is adequate to cover them if a theft were to occur.
Most home insurance providers now offer some form of garden cover, but generally the policies are limited. Several providers offer around £250 of cover, which is unlikely to be sufficient. As such, if you have spent a lot of money on your garden you should shop around for more extensive cover. There are plenty of home insurers that do offer a significant level of cover and these can be found by using a comparison website to compare policies. Then you can weigh up the level of cover against the affordability of the policy overall. In addition to checking the policy limit on garden cover, make sure you pay attention to the terms and conditions of the policy. Are there any circumstances in which you won’t be covered or any items that can’t be included on the policy? Most home insurance policies carry a single item limit - this is normally set at around £1,500. Therefore if you have a particularly expensive garden ornament or piece of equipment you may need to insure the item separately. Several insurance policies will also require you to meet some form of security standards for your garden - for example you may need to have a padlock on your garden gate or ensure that the fencing is kept at a high standard.
While home insurance is vital for peace of mind it should be thought of as a last resort as ideally you don’t want to make a claim for a stolen garden item that will in turn wipe out your no-claims discount. So you should take steps to ensure your garden is protected and less prone to theft. For example, make sure that fences, sheds and gates are in a good state of repair as if a thief can gain easy access to a property easily, they will. Security lighting is a good step and could earn you a discount with your insurer - it may also be possible to upgrade a burglar alarm to cover an outbuilding such as a shed too. Try and put valuables away each night. Those that have to be left outside should be secured properly and weighed down to make life as difficult for a thief as possible. Prickly plants are a good idea too as they will make it difficult for a thief to access a property; while it’s also smart to cut back overgrown areas so that thieves can’t hide behind them. Using gravel for pathways and on drives will also make it easier to hear when a thief is coming. If you’re planning to go away this summer ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your property and ensure your home insurance covers long periods without occupancy.

(Reproduced from 4th July)

GARDIEN TIP: Use our Inventory to find the real value of your garden. It's available at Also make use of the insurance advice at