Sheds and garages targeted by thieves

POLICE are warning homeowners to make their sheds and garages as secure as possible after a recent spate of thefts in Milngavie and Bearsden.

Hundreds of pounds worth of equipment has been taken in the past few months by opportunistic thieves - with bikes and garden tools the most popular items to steal.

Siobhan McCandlish, community safety officer at Milngavie police office, said: “Due to the general construction of a garden shed it is not possible to ensure they are completely secure but a few things can help make them less vulnerable to crime.

“The locking mechanism for most sheds is a padlock and hasp. It is recommended that the hasp is of strong construction, fitted to a reinforced section of the door and door surrounds. The screws attaching the hasp should be inaccessible when it’s closed and it’s better to use a closed shackle padlock which prevents a thief from using a jemmy to force the lock.”

A shed’s hinges are generally on the outside which gives a thief access to the screws. It is recommended that several of the screws are either replaced with bolts, with the nut on the inside, or the screw heads are burred to prevent them being removed.

If you have a window on your shed which you don’t need it’s safer to board it over to ensure your valuables can’t be seen from the outside. Alternatively an ornamental grill could be placed over the window.

Many things which are stored in garden sheds are of little interest to a thief, however, there are some items that must be secured.

Ladders can be used to break into houses, lawnmowers and strimmers have value and can be easily sold on, as well as most tools, electrical or otherwise.

You could use bicycle chains or a chain and padlock to fix things together, making it more difficult to remove any one item. It’s a good idea to chain or padlock bikes to each other or to other things in the shed or garage and mark your property with an indelible marker pen or an ultra violent one.

Be careful if you are storing flammable materials, don’t keep large quantities and if possible lock them away.

You could fit an alarm to your shed, there are several localised and inexpensive methods from all good DIY stores, such as a personal attack alarm or motion sensors and door contacts.