POLICE have issued advice following a spate of shed burglaries in town.
Several sheds were broken into on the allotments in Watery Lane on Friday, May 16, between 11pm and midnight.
Perimeter fencing was cut to gain access and then the padlocks were forced off sixteen sheds.
Tools and gardening equipment were taken.
Sheds and outbuildings can be seen as easy pickings because they are often unprotected and lack basic security measures.
They tend to contain property that can be sold on or contain tools that can be used to force entry into the owner’s or neighbour’s home.
General advice includes:
Make sure the shed is of good construction and will resist the offender using a screwdriver or crowbar on the door, windows or shed panelling.
Make sure the door hinge screws or lock screws can’t be undone easily. By using tamper proof screws or coach bolts together with a good quality pad bar or hasp and staple and close shackled padlock, the shed owner will make it harder for the would-be thief.
It is also a good idea to bond any window glass in with mastic to prevent easy removal. Windows can be fitted with a grille or, as a cheaper alternative, chicken wire, to slow a thief down.
Ensure all tools and equipment is locked away when not in use.
Shed alarms can be installed. These can be battery operated so mains power isn’t required.
Post-code or indelibly mark all property such as lawnmowers, bikes, and tools using ultra-violet pens, forensic marking such as Selecta DNA or Smartwater, or engravers.
Install security lighting as a deterrent, and plants such as thorny shrubs to act as a barrier at potential access points.
When positioning a shed, put it where it is most visible to you and neighbours, with the door facing you.
Any large items like big power tools, bikes and motorbikes should have a fixed ground anchor where they can be chained to securely.
If you have any information or saw anything suspicious contact the Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101, quoting crime number 20754/14.