March a danger month for garden thefts

Gardeners have been warned to keep an eye on their outdoor valuables over the summer months after a report highlighted the most popular months for back-yard thieves.

According to the Saga study, January, March, June and July are the times the light-fingered (or should that be green-fingered?) criminals are most likely to strike.

The insurance provider has found that the average claim following a garden theft is £378 and suggests gardeners take precautions to guard themselves against the threat.

It advises that horticulture lovers add their postcode to all valuables using an ultraviolet waterproof pen.

This can include barbeques, pots and tools – and may help police recover goods if they are stolen.

Sheds, greenhouses and gates should be checked for signs of deterioration from winter and any necessary repairs should be carried out.

An inventory should be taken to help homeowners notice if something has gone missing and photos of valuable items should be taken in case they do go walkabout.

Halifax Home Insurance recently issued a similar warning after figures from last year showed a 63 per cent increase in garden thefts during summer.