20% rise in shed and garages theft on lighter nights

And thieves will be keen to get their hands on anything within easy reach – from children’s toys to bikes to garden tools:

Of the garden equipment stolen last year:

* 42% of thefts were for power tools, of which 56% were drills;
* 39% were for simple hand tools like spades, shovels, rakes and forks;
* 19% were for electric and petrol lawnmowers, chainsaws and ladders.

However, the thieves don’t just wait for British Summer Time to begin before they start looting gardens, as the lighter evenings in March show a 10% increase in thefts compared with the dark nights of January.

And as the nights get lighter the number of claims increase, with July and August peeking at almost 30% higher than at the start of the year.

Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriting manager at Aviva, said: "We’re all looking forward to a bit more sunshine, but lighter evenings also mean all your expensive power tools, bikes and children’s toys are more visible to passing criminals.

"So after a day in the garden or doing a bit of DIY ensure everything is secured away inside your home, shed or garage. And remember items such as ladders and wheelie bins are perfect for burglars to use to get into your home, so keep them out of reach and out of sight if you can."

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