Cops warn of thieves fishy goings-on
POND owners were today warned to protect their gardens, after fish were among items stolen this summer.The words of warning came as the gardening bug spreads thanks to TV shows like Ground Force.
POND owners were today warned to protect their gardens, after fish were among items stolen this summer.
The words of warning came as the gardening bug spreads thanks to TV shows like Ground Force.
Thieves are targeting home owners' expensive plants, tools and garden furniture. About £400m worth of these will be stolen by thieves who now view your back yard as containing the same amount of loot as your front room.
A stidy in 2001 showed there were 1.2m property thefts from British gardens, with nearly half resulting in break-ins to garden sheds or other outdoor buildings, according to Halifax's insurance arm, esure.
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In Suffolk, offenders stole five ornamental fish from a pond in the back garden of a property in Faulkeners Way, Trimley St Mary on July 7.
The thief may have needed a vehicle to move the five multi-coloured fish, which were each about a foot long.
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Three fish were also stolen from a garden pond and an attempt was made to enter a house in Franklin Road, Ipswich, on June 17.
Koi carp can fetch hundreds of pounds at sale. Although there has been no particular spate of fish thefts, there are many measures people can take to protect their property.
Tracey Hardy, crime reduction officer at Suffolk Police said: "The most important thing is to try and prevent easy access to the back of your property. Two thirds of burglaries are carried out after entering the back garden so it is a good idea to secure the back of the property anyway."
She gave these top tips:
Buy a pond grid designed to keep children safe, to also keep thieves from reaching in.
Don't use pond materials like boulders, which could be used as tools to smash your window.
Turn off fountains and waterfalls when you go out, as running water can mask the sound of an intruder.
Heighten the fence using trellis and prickly buses.
Padlock the garden gate as burglars can climb gates and unbolt them to get out again.
Wrought iron gates and fences can be climbed so opt for a solid version instead, with hinges on the inside.
Install dusk-to-dawn lighting which glows constantly rather than a sensor light which can be disturbing and expensive.
Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in Faulkeners Way, or who may have been offered similar fish for sale, is asked to call Felixstowe police on 01473 613500.