Friday, October 30, 2009

30,000-mile bicycle stolen from back garden

A British adventurer who used the same bicycle to travel 30,000 miles across more than 30 countries has had it stolen from his back garden.
Geoffrey Williams, 53, crossed the Sahara Desert, was deported from Algeria and narrowly avoided being shot by guards in the former Yugoslavia while travelling with the second-hand 1949 Sun tourer.
Thieves negotiated 7ft (2m) gates, a chain and two padlocks to take the bike.
Mr Williams said: “My whole life has been with that bicycle. I didn’t go abroad until I was in my 40s.” Police believe the theft took place on October 22.

(Reproduced from Times Online, October 29th)

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rogue traders out and about in town

DODGY compost sellers have been going door to door in Thelwall offering their services to pensioners, trading standards is warning.
One incident saw two men offering to lay compost in the garden of a 74-year-old woman who agreed to the work despite not being given a price first.
A spokesman for Warrington Trading Standards said: “Once the job was finished the trader asked for £320 saying 62 bags had been laid at £3.50 per bag.
“Although shocked at the price the woman felt pressured to pay and wrote a cheque for the full amount.”
The men are described as being smartly dressed wearing green uniforms with ‘Garden Services’ printed on the back.
The younger man is thought to have very short hair and a ruddy complexion.
Both men had Warrington accents and drove a white low loader type vehicle with no visible markings.
A second incident saw three men claiming to be from the council cold calling residents offering compost at £2.99 per bag.
They were wearing green jumpers printed with the name ‘Blakes’ and were driving a very dark blue transit van.
The spokesman added: “Please take great care with people offering to sell you goods at your door.
“You may struggle to find them again if there are problems with the goods they sell or the work they do and you can end up paying more than you thought you had agreed to.”
Anyone falling victim to this sort of crime should call police on 0845 4580000.

(Reproduced from 27th October)

GARDIEN TIP: This is slightly different from the normal sort of problem we deal with, but we feel it is important enough to highlight as part of our campaign to reduce garden crime.

Seven foot giraffe stolen in (Coventry) garden raid

DETERMINED thieves stole a seven-foot high wooden giraffe during a raid on a Pailton garden.
The hand-carved animal was taken by burglars who forced their way into the garden in Lutterworth Road, Pailton, overnight between Friday and Saturday.
The item is said to be of “huge sentimental” value to the owners and a reward is being offered for its return.
Anyone with information about the theft is urged to contact Warwickshire Police on 01926 415065.
Information can also be passed onto police in confidence, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from the Coventry Telegraph, Oct 27th)

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stolen Zimbabwe Serpentine statue (Market Harborough)

Officers from Market Harborough local policing unit are appealing for information to trace the whereabouts of items stolen in a garden theft in Goadby.
The incident happened sometime between Wednesday September 30 and Friday October 9, 2009 when a garden sculpture was stolen from the back garden of a property.
It is described as Zimbabwe Serpentine statue of two vultures. It is made of stone and is 3ft tall.
Also stolen between these dates was a chicken coup which contained eight chickens.
DC Frances Rathbone, who is investigating this incident, said: “Due to the size and weight of the items taken, a vehicle would have been used to move them from the site.
“If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the Goadby area between these dates please get in touch. We also want to hear from anyone who may have been offered this statue or chickens for sale in suspicious circumstances.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC 4050 Frances Rathbone on 0116 2222222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officers identification number 4050. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers, which is free* and anonymous on 0800 555 111.
* Please note, some mobile phone service providers may charge for this call.
Issued on 23/10/09 at 13:00 Crime reference number: SM/03590/09-7, SM/03439/09-3

Source: Leicestershire Police web site

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Autistic Thomas Paul, 10, left ‘devastated’ by bike theft

AN autistic youngster from Hereford has been left devastated after his bike was stolen.
Thomas Paul, who also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), noticed that his bright orange bike had been taken from his aunt Kaile’s garden in Brampton Road, Newton Farm.
“It’s his pride and joy and he would always say hello to people whenever he rode it,” said his mother Rebecca Mills.
“Because of his condition, people don’t understand him, so he doesn’t have many friends.
“His bike is his freedom. I can’t believe people can be so cruel.”
Anyone with any information about the theft or the bike’s whereabouts can call Hereford police station on 0300 333 3000.

(Reproduced from the Hereford Times, 23rd October)

GARDIEN TIP: Over half the bikes stolen in the UK are from people's homes. Sensible precautions need to be taken at all times. For general advice about making your garden safer, see

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Clocks back temptation for thieves

Homeowners across the South West are being warned that they are more likely to become the target of thieves as the clocks go back later this week (Sunday 25 October). As the evenings get darker earlier, regional insurance firm Cornish Mutual is reminding residents to make sure that their homes and gardens stay safe and secure this autumn and winter. Last year the company, which serves Members across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, dealt with more than 135 theft claims affecting homes, gardens, vehicles, machinery and farms in the region.
“There are a few simple steps that people can take to reduce the risk of crime when the clocks go back at the end of this week,” says Mitch Portman, Cornwall Business Development Manager for Cornish Mutual. He adds: “The South West is one of the safest regions to live in and hopefully some common-sense advice will help to keep properties secure from thieves. The good news is that we have seen the number of insurance claims relating to theft fall over the last few years, but people should not be complacent.” Bob Bunney, Force Crime Reduction Advisor for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary says: "Many burglars are opportunistic, so make sure that you keep valuables or possessions out of sight, whether it’s in the home, workplace or your vehicle. If you are affected by a break-in, it can cause a lot of inconvenience especially with the time spent sorting things out, so it makes sense to take preventative measures. It also makes sense to ‘mark’ your property and record it to deter criminals, which also has the advantage that if you are unfortunate enough to suffer crime or loss you have a record available to assist police and your insurance company if a claim is made.”
Cornish Mutual is also urging people to ensure that they have the right level of insurance cover for their home and contents. The company believes ordinary items can be easily overlooked when renewing policies including expensive garden furniture, tools in sheds, jewellery, electrical items or new gifts. The cost of replacing items in the home like CDs, DVDs, computer games, toys, laptops or sports equipment may be underestimated and could run into thousands

(Extracted from 20th October)

GARDIEN Tip: There is much advice on how to reduce garden crime at and the most common way for burglars to gain entry to homes is via the garden so make it as difficult as possible.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sidbury hit by (garden) crime spate

A SERIES of burglaries in Sidbury are being linked by police.
Garden machinery has been stolen from four properties in the village in the last two weeks sparking a police appeal. Equipment was stolen from a garden shed in Bridge Street sometime between October 2 and October 5. Crime reference number: KS/09/595.
Another address in Bridge Street was also targeted by the burglars who made off with gardening equipment between 1.30pm on October 4 and 10am on October 6. Crime number: KS/09/597. Thieves also stole goods from an address at Hatway Hill between 10.15am on October 4 and 9.15am the following day. Crime number: KS/09/591.
The fourth burglary happened at Buckley Road between 5pm on October 4 and 7.45am the following day. Crime number: KS/09/590.
Investigating officer PC Adrian Tapp said: "They are obviously a series of burglaries that have occurred in the same area and we believe they are linked." Police are also investigating three burglaries in Venn Ottery where gardening equipment was taken from properties. Items worth £700 including a John Deere JS63 rotary mower, a Tanneka TBC 2211 brush cutter and a step ladder were stolen between October 3 and October 12. Crime number: KS/09/610.
Gardening equipment, worth £1,500, was taken from another address between 7.30pm on October 1 and 8.30am the following day. Items include a Stilh pole pruner, Stilh MS 200 chain saw and Draper ratchet spanners. Crime number: KS/09/584.
And similar equipment was taken from the village also between October 1 and October 2. The machinery was dumped down the road. Crime number: KS/09/585
Residents in both villages have been warned to be on their guard by police. A spokesperson said: "There have been a number of incidents in the Venn Ottery and Sidbury area of burglaries to outbuildings at rural properties. Please heighten your security and report any suspicious activity you see around these areas."
Anyone with information about the crimes should ring Sidmouth Police on 08452 777444 quoting the crime numbers listed above.

(Reproduced from the Sidmouth Herald, October 17th)

GARDIEN Tip: Sheds and Outbuildings are often too easy a target for the criminal fraternity. Follow our advice at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weeding out crime with Shelley garden centre bulbs

SHOPPERS at a Shelley garden centre will be able to pick up some light bulbs to go with their flower bulbs.
Officers from Kirkburton Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) will hand out free, energy-saving bulbs at Armitage’s at Huddersfield Road on Saturday.
It is part of the Lighten-Up campaign to deter burglars as the nights draw in.
Pc Sally Baines said: “This is a great chance to pick up a free light bulb and use it to make your property more secure.
“Burglars don’t want to be caught and they don’t want to be seen.
“Areas that are not well lit can be more inviting to potential burglars or thieves.
“By using these energy saving light bulbs, it will act as a deterrent.
“Although the police will do all they can to prevent such offences from occurring, we also need the help of the community to do their part in reducing the chances of their property being targeted.”
To contact the NPT call 01484 436898.

(Reproduced from Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Oct 16th)

Gardien Tip: As the darker nights close in, so crime rises. Take a close look at your garden, shed, fences etc. and and decide what you ought to do to improve the security of your surroundings. See the advice at

Thursday, October 15, 2009


POLICE officers in Forfar are investigating the theft of a quad bike from the garden of a house at Dykehead, Burnside.
The Yamaha Banshee make quad bike, which is blue in colour, was taken sometime between 4 pm on Sunday, October 4 and 2.30pm on Saturday, October 10. It would bear the registration number YK06 FBV when taken.If you know where the stolen quad bike is now please get in touch with Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222

(Reproduced from the Forfar Dispatch, 14th October)

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Be vigilant and ward off crime (warn Maidenhead Police)

Police are warning homeowners in the Royal Borough to protect themselves against crime as the evenings get darker.
The force says traditionally as autumn and winter arrive there is an increase in crimes committed and officers are urging householders to be on their guard.
Their message is 'dont let yourselves and your property become vulnerable' and they have released a set of tips for residents.
Here are some top tips:
*Lock away garden tools, check the locks and bolts on gates, sheds and out buildings are in good condition and robust.
*Check outdoor lighting is working and if you don't have any, consider getting some and don't leave homes in the dark.
*When leaving the home makes checks including is the alarm set, are the lights on and have I locked all the doors and windows.
*Take care when out and about after dark and try and walk in well lit areas. Avoid leaving keys in the ignition and leaving cars unattended.
For more information call crime reduction advisor Caroline Heard on 01753 835505, or if you see any suspicious activity call the police enquiry centre on 08458 505505

(Reproducecd from the Maidenhead Advertiser, 12th Oct)

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Police appeal over bike theft

POLICE are appealing for information after a rare BMX bike was stolen from a garden.
The Eastern Ramrodder 2009 BMX, which had been imported from the USA, was taken from the garden of a home in Wesley Drive, Chatteris on Saturday, October 3, between 2am and noon.
The frame is light lime green coloured, the spokes are bright lime green, and it also has black handle bars, brakes and tyres. Anyone with information should call Pc Goodman at Chatteris police station on 0345 456 4564

(Reproduced from Peterborough Evening Telegraph, October 12th)

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bike and chainsaw stolen

A MOUNTAIN bike and chainsaw were stolen from the back garden of a house, recently.
Police are investigating the theft of a GT Avalanche 3 mountain bike with a silver frame and blue and white stickers and a Stihl NS200 top-handled chainsaw with a 14 inch blade (postcode marked TN6 2SB inside the front cover). They were taken from a back garden in Tollwood Park, Crowborough between September 23-30. Information to police on: 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial number: 707/30.09.09

(Reproduced from the Sussex Express, 7th October)

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Police warn householders to secure garden sheds

COTSWOLDS’ police have warned householders to ensure they secure garden sheds in which expensive equipment will be stored this autumn.
Supported by Cotswold district’s Safer and Stronger Community Partnership, the police said opportunist thieves often target garden and allotment sheds where expensive tools and equipment are stored.
Officers asked residents to check the security of their sheds and outbuildings before storing items like bicycles and lawn mowers, which may not be regularly used during autumn and winter.
Police Constable Mark Godsland, Cotswold crime prevention design advisor, said: “Sheds and outbuildings are a favourite target for criminals because many can be broken into relatively easily if they don’t have adequate security, and they often contain expensive items such as power tools and bikes.
“Shed owners should check the vulnerability of their shed and make it more secure by investing in metal grilles for windows, reinforced hinges and strong locks and shed alarms.
“We would also suggest that items of equipment are property marked.”
For crime prevention tips and advice, visit the ‘Crime Reduction’ pages of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s website at

(Reproduced from Cotswold Journal, 6th October)

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Exmouth police seek help tracing stolen bike

EXMOUTH police are appealing for help tracing a boy's black and gold Exile BMX bike, which was stolen from the front garden of a home in Hamilton Road, Withycombe Raleigh, at the end of last month. Police community support officer Karen Capey said neighbours saw four youths take the bike and gave chase, but lost them. The theft occurred between 7.20pm and 7.50pm on Wednesday September 30. The bike is recognisable because its stunt pegs have been removed. If anyone has any information the bike or the offenders, contact PCSO Capey on 08452 777 444, quoting crime reference number KE/09/2922.

(Reproduced from the Exmouth Herald, 6th October)

GARDIEN TIP: More than half the bikes stolen in the UK are stolen from people's homes. For maximum security, consider buying a specially designed metal shed (see, but if the bike is not of high value consider the other possible options vaialoable at