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Sarah Rice

Sarah is our insurance specialist, reporting the latest important developments in the industry.

Thieves Targeting Gardens as Weather Gets Warmer

Thieves target gardens as the days get longer. New research shows that from March increased thefts occur from gardens. Find out more.

**Shut your sheds this March as new research revealed that when the clocks go forward thieves are on the hunt for your garden tools. **

Many of us are looking forward to March 27th when the clocks go forward and so will thieves. New research carried out by insurance provider Aviva has found that thefts from gardens, sheds and garages, shoot up by 25 per cent as British Summer Time begins.

Garden goods that fall into the hands of thieves include bikes, lawnmowers, garden tools and children's toys. The average haul criminals would get for these items totals around £900.

Ten years of data has been collected between 2000- 2010, and found thefts from outside the home start to increase as the evenings get lighter. There is a 10 per cent increase in thefts from January to the beginning of March.

The study shows that as the days get longer the number of thefts increases and peak at almost 50 per cent more in July and August compared to the beginning of the year.

Black and Decker electric drills are the most popular item for garden burglars, taking the number one spot in the top ten items stolen from gardens and garages in 2010. Garden rakes and fork are the tenth most poular item to be stolen.

Get Covered for Garden Theft

Check your home contents insurance policy covers theft of contents in outbuildings such as garages and sheds. It's not just mountain bikes and lawnmowers that can be stolen. If you have splashed out on some particularly nice garden ornaments, sporting equipment such as fishing tackle, or an outdoor dining set, be sure to get these items covered too.

Follow these tips to reduce the likelihood of garden theft:

*Don't tempt the thieves in, put away your garden tools, paddling pool, trampoline and swing ball after use. *Lock your sheds and out-buildings, replace any rusty padlocks. *Close gates and repair damaged fences *Hide or cover bulky items which cannot be locked away, such as large gas barbecues and picnic benches. *And for those of you who treat your shed as a second home, check your policy details to ensure your mini television, playstation and beer fridge don't go over your policy limits.

Compare home insurance to find the best one for covering garden theft.