Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Charity garden equipment stolen

THIEVES have twice stolen thousands of pounds of equipment from a garden which helps adults suffering from mental illnesses. They broke into Bridewell Organic Garden stealing a generator, and just weeks later made off with four lawn mowers and two strimmers.
Managers said it would cost the charity more than £5,000 to replace the garden equipment and put huge pressure on the organisation’s finances and insurance premiums.
Trustee Mary Elford urged people not to buy any cheap garden equipment if they were suspicious about where it had come from.
The walled garden and five-acre vineyard at Wilcote was founded in 1994, and gardeners grow cottage plants, vegetables and fruit on the land.
It also provides workshops on horticulture, bee keeping, woodwork and blacksmithing, and aims to improve the emotional well-being of adults who have suffered all sorts of mental illness.
Garden manager, Ralph Raistrick, said: “It happened a couple of years ago too, it’s very disappointing. We don’t have huge resources. We are worried it will put our insurance claims up. It’s quite demoralising.”
Mr Raistrick said the garden had been without a generator, used by the resident blacksmith, and lawn mowers for several weeks now.
He said: “The garden looks quite ragged.
“We were working on a beautiful metal tree sculpture, and that has had to be stopped because we need the generator to keep working on it.
“It’s a bit of a blow, because we have three open days this summer, and we had hoped to show it off a bit.”
Thieves stole the generator from a plinth in the garden, and Mr Raistrick believed they wheeled it to their getaway vehicle on a trolley, which he later found in the car park.
About five weeks later, they used angle grinders to open a shipping container, secured with a £200 lock, lifting lawn mowers and strimmers over the 6ft-garden wall with the help of a plastic garden chair.
Mrs Elford said: “We want to make people aware that theft in the countryside is a huge problem, and for a very small voluntary organisation, with limited funds, these kinds of losses are devastating.
“It’s about making people aware that if they are offered cheap lawnmowers, they might come from somewhere like Bridewell.”
Police spokesman Danny Donovan confirmed the first theft took place between May 10 and 12, and the second between June 20 and 21.
He said officers were keeping an eye out for the equipment at sales, scrapyards, and on the Internet, but no arrests had so far been made.
Anyone with information about the theft should contact police, on 08458 505505, or Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111

(Reproduced from The Oxford Times, 20th July 2010)

Gardien Tip: Ensure that all property of any value is permanently marked with the post code and ID to aid retrieval. Also one could consider use of a Garden floodlight motion detector with digital camera and video - these units look as though they are simply a security light but they will discreetly record any activity which triggers them within range.

Garden theft warning for Taff (South Wales) residents

ORNAMENTAL lions, ceramic snails and wooden ducks are just some of the items that have been stolen from gardens in the Taff.
Police are issuing a warning to householders to ensure garden ornaments and furniture is secure after a number of thefts.
There have been a number of reported incidents of garden thefts since over the fine weather period across the area.
The majority of thefts have been in Brynna and Llanharan but the most recent was in Hollybush Villas, Church Village, where two 3ft tall stone lion ornaments were taken from a garden on Thursday, July 15.
More than 30 items, including 15 gnomes, were stolen from one garden in Meadow Rise, Brynna, and a variety of ornamental animals, including two green dragons, have been taken from a front garden in Bryn Henllan, Brynna.
Police are investigating the incidents and are carrying out extra patrols in the effected area but are also appealing for residents to be vigilant and to take simple crime prevention measures.
Sergeant Nick Jenkins, who is based in Pontypridd Police Station, said: “These items are stolen and either end up being sold on at car boot sales or kept by the thief.
“We would ask people to keep a watchful eye over their belongings and not leave them in a place where they could be stolen by an opportunist thief.
“Householders should seek to minimise opportunities for criminals by making sure garden items are secure or safely stored in sheds or outbuildings, especially overnight or when the property is unoccupied.
“I would ask also people to be good neighbours and report any suspicious vehicles or people in their street.”
Police are investigating whether there is a market for these items and would appeal to anyone who is offered these items for sale in pubs or clubs or in car boot sales to contact them.
Anyone with information regarding garden thefts should contact police in Pontypridd on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from South Wales Police web site, 21st July 2010)

Gardien Tip: All the advice you need and the products to improve your security are at

Monday, July 12, 2010

Garden theft rise

HANGING baskets, garden pots and garden ornaments have been stolen in a second spate of thefts in the Crewkerne area.
Police are asking residents to check their garden security and to consider marking the bases of their items with their postcodes and house numbers or initials.
Residents have been asked to photograph any unusual items.
Police Community support officer Michelle Haimes, of the Crewkerne Neighbourhood team, said: "We have recently recovered some stolen items and have one item as yet unidentified. People who have been victims of such a theft, but have not reported it, should do so by ringing 0845 456 7000."

(Reproduced from 12th July 2010)

Gardien Tip: Property marking kits are available at along with much general garden security advice and specialist security products

Friday, July 9, 2010

Police appeal for information on Ely (Cardiff) garden theft

South Wales Police are appealing for information from the public about a theft in the city
A distinctive water feature has been taken from the garden of a 79-year-old man in Ely. The three-foot tall feature, called 'Lover's Rainy Day', is a heavy statue of two people holding an umbrella and was reported as missing between 2 July at 10pm and 7.15am the following morning.
Anyone with any information about the Ely garden theft is asked to contact PC Richard Roberts at Ely police station. Call 02920 222111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

(Extracted from an article in Guardian Cardiff 9th July 2010)

Guardian Tip: See the advice at

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cyclists should insure their bikes

Most of us would never dream of driving or even owning a car without insurance cover due to the risk of accidents, damage, or theft. However, many people who have bicycles fail to get their bikes insured, and this can prove to be a problem in the event that the bike is stolen.
A survey was carried out recently by M& S Money, and according to the results over twenty five percent of cyclists have had at least one bike stolen in the past two years, reflecting the high risk of theft for cyclists. The figures show that over three quarters of adults in the UK have a bike in the home, whether it belongs to them personally or to a member of the family.
The research indicated that the average value of these bikes was around £240. According to officials this makes these bikes a prime target for thieves, and with more and more people getting health conscious and more aware of the environment the number of people that own and use bikes could increase steadily over time.
Officials are now urging consumers to ensure that their bikes are insured so that they do not suffer financially in the event that their bikes are stolen. In many cases this can be done under a home insurance policy, and some policies also cover bikes as standard as long as they are within a certain value.
However, cyclists also need to ensure that they have cover that protects them if their bike is damaged or stolen whilst outside the home, and whilst this may come at an additional cost it will be well worth it in the event that something does happen to the bike.
Andrew Ferguson from M&S said: ‘Cycling can certainly be a popular activity, particularly as the evenings are lighter and the weather is warmer. It is important that if people have a bicycle already, or are considering making a new purchase, they make sure it is covered adequately by their home insurance policy.’

(Reproduced from 26th June)

Gardien Tip: Lock bikes and other valuables away in a secure metal shed. For good advice on Bike Security go to