Thursday, October 31, 2013

Police pride at anti-theft campaign

Nantwich Neighbourhood Policing Unit (NPU) launched ‘Operation Gordonia’ in August after seeing an almost 40% rise in thefts of items including garden tools and lawn mowers during the two months previous.
Three months on and police say the number of thefts has reduced to ‘more realistic and expected levels’ after stepping up patrols and using both marked and unmarked vehicles.
As a result of police patrolling country lanes as part of Gordonia, 10 people were arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
Nantwich Inspector Dave Smithers said that there were 23 reported incidents of thefts from sheds or outbuildings, 16 in September and seven offences in October (as of October 29).
Items stolen during this period ranged from gardening tools, lawn mowers and metal to motorbikes and quad bikes.
“The number of incidents has reduced and we are trying to make sure it stays this way,” added Insp Smithers.
“We have maintained increased patrols in rural areas and we are giving it extra attention, looking out for any suspicious activity.”
Although there have been no arrests, police believe they are sending out a clear message to criminals – ‘not in our town’.
Residents are also being reminded to ensure their own crime prevention measures are in place and that their properties are not an ‘open invitation’ to criminals.
“As an off-shoot to this operation we have arrested about 10 people for drink driving,” said Insp Smithers.
Officers look out for drivers who are acting suspiciously – behaviour can include driving erratically and being parked up in a lay-by at night.
“Perhaps in rural areas people think they will get away with it but because we have additional patrols in that area they have been stopped. This is all making our roads safer, even though that’s not the specific aim of this operation,” he added.

(Reproduced from Crewe Chronicle, 31st Oct)

Gardien Comment:  See the article on Shed Security at

Monday, October 28, 2013

Police investigating theft of garden urns from a property in Kirkby Lonsdale


POLICE are urgently investigating the theft of two vintage Grecian garden urns from a property in Kirkby Lonsdale.
The urns were taken from the front garden of a house at Fairbank, thought to be overnight on October 26 or into the morning of October 27.
They are described as concrete, very heavy and would have needed two people to have lifted them.
Police have confirmed that the urns were worth £500 in total.
If anybody has seen anyone acting suspicious in the area, please contact Cumbria Police on 101.

(Reproduced from The Westmorland Gazette, 28th Oct 2013)

Gardien Comment: for advice and products to help protect garden antiques

Monday, October 21, 2013

Racing bikes stolen from garden shed

THREE bikes worth more than £1000 have been stolen from a garden shed.
The two racing bikes and a mountain bike were taken from a shed that was broken into in Denholm Drive, Musselburgh, sometime between Thursday night and the morning of Friday, October 17.
They include a black Chris Boardman racing bike worth £700, a white Carera racing bike worth £300 and a silver Raleigh mountain bike worth £150.
Anyone who has any information regarding the theft of these bikes should contact Police Scotland on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from Edinburgh News 21st Oct)

Gardien Comment: See the article on Bike Security at

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Show budgies worth £60,000 stolen from garden aviary


THIEVES have stolen £60,000 worth of budgies in a raid at Nursling.

They broke into an aviary and took more than 350 show birds bred by national expert Michael Freeborn.

He believes the creatures – some as young as six months – will be smuggled abroad and sold.

Devastated Mr Freeborn, 74, discovered his prize collection of budgerigars had been taken yesterday morning when he went to check on them in their large cage less than 30ft from his bungalow.

He said it would have taken a gang of three or four thieves with a large net and a van to carry out the theft.

“The stud value of these birds is around £60,000 and they are irreplaceable," he said.

Even if I do get them back, which is very unlikely, they will probably be too traumatised to do anything with.

“When I went down to the aviary at 4.45am the outside security light didn’t come on and when I went to put the key in the lock, I realised the lock wasn’t there and the door had been jemmied open and all the birds were gone. I was devastated.”

Mr Freeborn, who is the founder of Freeborn Garages, began keeping budgerigars as pets when he was 14 years old and has won scores of trophies with his show birds over the years.

In 1963 he started breeding them himself and all the stolen birds were descendants of a pair that he bred from 50 years ago.

He was not sure exactly how many budgies were in the cage near his garden aviary but knows there were between 350 and 400.

Mr Freeborn, who is a member of the South Hampshire Budgerigar Club and a national judge with the Budgerigar Society, said he believed the gang escaped across nearby fields with the birds after removing them from the 26ft by 12ft aviary.

“It would have taken three or four people at least three hours to remove and take them to a van. It is possible they were stolen to order.

“But whoever stole them would have to cut all the distinctive rings off the birds and then nobody would buy them.

 “I think the gang’s aim is to get them abroad and sell them.

"The police are cracking down on this but there are some unscrupulous people out there who don’t care if they destroy people’s lives and hobbies.

There is a ban on all feathered livestock going abroad and people need a licence to export them from Britain.”

Hampshire police are investigating.

Asked whether it was possible the gang would take the birds overseas, a police spokesman said: “We couldn’t discount it but it’s not all that likely as they may lose a lot of the stock so it wouldn’t be that worthwhile to them.”

Anyone with information about the theft should contact Romsey police on 101.

(Reproduced from the Romsey Advertiser, 16th October)

Gardien Comment: Sadly we hear of too many thefts of animals and other livestock. If they are of significant value, due precautions need to be taken to protect them. For advice and products, visit

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Theft of horse statue from West Bilney garden (Norfolk)

Thieves broke into the back garden and an outbuilding at a property in West Bilney and stole a four foot bronze statue of a horse.
The incident happened at a house in Main Road early last week.
It was stolen some time between 8pm on Sunday, September 22, and 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 24.
The thieves entered the back garden of the property where they stole the statue before entering the outbuilding and stealing garden tools.
Police would like to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the area between the times stated.
Contact PC Scott Lammas at Hunstanton Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from Lynn News, 1st Oct)

Gardien Comment: Once again a very heavy object has been removed and you should never under-estimate what can be stolen.  For advice go to