Thieves are targeting country gardens as summer hots up and gardeners fill their gardens with expensive plants and equipment. Insurer RIAS says that, this summer, as many as one in seven gardens will be victims of theft.

Garden theft has doubled in the past year, according to RIAS, which expects claims this year to amount to £300million.

Typical loss is £387 per garden, an increase from £305 five years ago.

Thieves target antique statues, bricks, benches and plants, typically, although wrought iron gates and barbecues are also being stolen.

Avoiding theft:

– Padlock all sheds and greenhouses

– Install outside lights

– Chain up large potted trees and plants

– Lock all garden gates

– Using gravel in the driveway deters criminals as it acts as an audible deterrent

RIAS says that, as the weather hots up and more people fill their gardens with expensive plants and equipment, up to one in seven gardens will be the victims of theft.

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