Criminals are using methods, including impersonation of staff members, to steal valuable items such as armchairs, dining sets, daybeds, BBQs and sun loungers left outside in the garden, patio or balcony areas of commercial and residential properties, says White Stores.
Last month, thieves stole a large amount of valuable rattan garden furniture, including 20 dining tables and around 100 dining chairs, from a wedding and conferencing venue in Belper, Derbyshire. Local police believe these stolen goods, worth several thousand pounds, would have required a lorry or vehicle of similar size to haul away.
White Stores founder James Whiteley said: "One of our customers, an award-winning hotel on the south coast of England, had to replace eight of their rattan sun loungers this month, costing £1596.00, after thieves posing as staff members stole them during a busy Sunday lunchtime. It just goes to prove that these brazen outdoor furniture thieves can strike at any time. White Stores would like to warn our customers, businesses and the public at large to be extra vigilant, and take all available measures to protect their garden and patio furniture from theft."
According to the British police's official crime prevention advice at https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/, homes and businesses should:
- Ensure side gates are locked
- Make sure the fences around the garden or patio are in good condition
- Install good outside lighting
- Mark your outdoor furniture with a postcode and house number - take photos of it too
- Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
- Be aware of anyone acting suspiciously in your area
Spiky or prickly plants, high walls and gravel are useful deterrents to opportunist thieves as well. It is also advisable to check that your outdoor furniture has adequate insurance, in case you ever need to replace any stolen items.
If you have been offered any cheap outdoor garden furniture for sale under suspicious circumstances, you can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.