Group Discussions > Burglars targeting communal garden sheds

ALERT TO GARDEN SQUARE MANAGERS FROM GARDEN SQUARE NEWS EDITOR HOLLY SMITH In February, in broad daylight, three heavy-set white men stole tools and machinery from a communal square in SW7. A witness who saw them take the items and put them in their small lorry didn't stop them because they looked like maintenance men.

Recently thieves have hit Collingham Gardens and Bolton Gardens, SW5. Garden square managers may want to make sure their equipment sheds are securely locked. If your garden has been recently hit by thieves, please report it to the police and post the information on this Group Discussions page.
Many thanks,
Holly Smith
May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGarden Square News
On May 24, a police spokeswoman for Kensington & Chelsea said: "Since January 1st there have been a number of offences whereby sheds in communal gardens are being broken into across the borough and items stolen.
"Although we have a description of suspects for one of the offences most are committed during the night with no witnesses. Also as most are being reported a considerable time after the offence police lose any potential forensic opportunity.
"We urge residents to be vigilant and if they see anyone acting suspiciously in communal gardens to call police immediately. Please ensure that sheds are secured and gates are not left unlocked."

Reported offences this year
Garden Square in SW7. The offence was committed on 16th January 2013 but reported to police on 25th January 2013.
A resident told police she saw three white males, who appeared to be builders, leaving the garden area via the communal gate with a number of gardening tools. As they were so brazen nothing was thought of it, assuming they were transporting the tools on behalf of on someone else as they appeared to be workmen, and came prepared with a van.
The theft was only discovered later. The shed door was insecure, with the latch ripped from the frame of the door. The lopper and leaf blower were missing; however other tools including lawn mower remained.
On attendance police gave crime prevention advice given to better securing the shed.
Onslow Gardens, SW7. This offence committed on 26th April 2013 reported to police on 27th April 2013.
This offence was reported by a security guard who works for a company hired by Knight Frank to conduct patrols around Onslow Gardens area. He told police that the gates are always locked and access can only be gained via a fob/card system and that he had checked the sheds on his rounds. The following day it was noticed that the shed door was open and that the lock had been forced. Items including a lawn mower and brush cutter were reported stolen. Residents spoken to by police but no one had seen or heard anything suspicious. The scene was examined by Kensington and Chelsea Forensic team but unfortunately no evidence was found.
Bolton Gardens, SW5 Offence committed on 9th May 2013 reported to police the following day.
The gardener told police he locked the shed when he left at 5pm. The following day he discovered the shed lock had been forced open. He reported that a Harrier lawnmower and 2 Stihl Leaf blowers had been taken. All gates were secure. Police conducted enquiries at properties surrounding the garden but found no witnesses.
An attempted burglary occurred at the Peabody Estate, Chelsea manor Street, SW3. It was committed 2nd February 2013 but reported on 25th March. All items returned intact. On 2nd February 2013 at about 10pm a resident telephoned police to report two males hiding in the street by the sheds. Police attended and found a number of items which were believed to have been removed from the sheds. When police arrived the suspects were gone and a search uncovered various items including spades and a bottle of vodka.
(This is criminal damage not theft)

On 13th May 2013 a resident noticed that the shed door in a private garden for residents of Courtfield Gardens East and Collingham Rd SW5 had been forced and the hinges on one of the door has come out. Nothing was stolen.
The most recent burglary occurred in Carlyle Square, SW3 on 16th May but was not reported until 21st May 2013. The gardener discovered the shed door had been broken off and a number of tools including a lawnmower, 2 pressure washers, a leaf blower and a lawn scarifier were missing.
Police were eventually called however, the lock on the door had already been replaced and the broken lock had been thrown away therefore losing any forensic opportunities.
May 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterGarden Square News
Can I thank Garden Square News for bringing the thefts from sheds to light.

I have a shed at the end of my garden, that has had various attempts of thefts made on it over the years. What seems to work is a movement detector that when triggered gives off a high pitch scream. I know this device is effective because on a number of occasions I have either heard the alarm go off in the middle of the night and a mad scramble over the wall afterwards. Or I have come home in the evening to find the shed door has been forced open but nothing inside taken.

Such a device can be bought from Argos for about £15 and is controlled with a infer-red key ring device.
November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCllr Matthew R Palmer
Montpelier Square, SW7 offense committed night of 29th June 2014.

The thieves made no attempt to cut the padlock: instead they cut through the loop that the lock thread through. They stole a leaf blower and honda mower. The police were informed and were on the scene within 10 minutes. A Crime Scene Investigator has taken fingerprints so we hope that this will lead to an arrest in due course.
June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Carthy