Surrey Police is investigating a spate of thefts from allotment sheds in Vicarage Crescent, Egham which took place between Monday, 3 December and Thursday, 6 December.
A number of reports have been received, of thieves breaking in to the sheds between late evening or the early hours and stealing various gardening tools and equipment.
The first incident occurred between Monday, 3 December and Wednesday, 5 December when a plastic shed door was damaged, the offenders gained entry and stole various items including a strimmer.
The second incident occurred between Tuesday, 4 December and Thursday, 6 December. Offenders broke into the allotment and caused damage to the door of a wooden shed before taking various tools, including a shovel and wooden garden fork.
Another theft took place between Wednesday, 5 December and Thursday, 6 December when offenders broke into a greenhouse and stole two toolboxes containing a variety of hand tools, before breaking into a nearby shed by breaking a padlock, stealing a strimmer and a weed burner.
Surrey Police Runnymede Neighbourhood Sergeant, Andy Gibbon said: “Residents in Egham and especially allotment shed owners are being advised to lock up their garden sheds and outbuildings securely.
“Sheds can be an easy target for the opportunist thief particularly if they contain expensive equipment and when they are sited away from main properties where they are not overlooked. I would strongly urge residents to spend some time upgrading garden security so you don’t become the next victim of crime.”
“I would also add that we need the community to play its part in deterring this type of criminal activity. Please call us on 101 if you see any suspicious activity, as your call could make a real difference.”
Surrey Police recommends the following security tips:
•Fit a good quality padlock, which has a hardened steel shackle (the part which opens and passes through the hasp) to all shed doors. The shorter the shackle the better because it prevents the jaws of bolt croppers being able to be placed around it
•Use anti-tamper screws or smear hard setting glue on the screw-heads of the door hinges
•Lock or permanently fix windows shut and cover them, perhaps with an old curtain, so no one can see what is kept inside
•Install a shed alarm and place a sticker in the window or on the door to advertise the fact
•Mark valuable property, including lawnmowers, power tool, bikes, and garden furniture by permanently etching on your postcode and house number
•Chain up bicycles, lawnmowers and motorbikes and secure them to a fixed point in the shed
•Consider storing more expensive electrical goods indoors or in a more secure building such as a brick-built structure
•Make sure that fences/gates to your property are secure and remember to put any property away at night or when you go out during the day
•Darkness is the perfect cover for burglars and the effective and economic answer is to install outside lighting, which comes on only when people are present.
Please visit http://www.surrey.police.uk/sheds for more information.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Surrey Police on 101 quoting reference RM/12/6166. Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously and free of charge on 0800 555 111.