One in eight British gardens will be targeted by thieves hoping to sell on outdoor furniture, gadgets and hardware, according to a report in the Times.
Garden contents are worth more than ever, with a £500 million leap on spending last year seeing Britons spend an estimated £4 billion on their gardens in 2006, according to British Crime Survey statistics.
The same figures show that claims made on home insurance for outdoor crimes will also rise, reaching £500 million for the year, as thieves target gardens.
Easy access and inadequate security are one part of the problem.
"We don't take enough trouble about locking everything up at night", Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), told the Times.
Garden sheds are not secure enough, according to British Crime Survey statistics, which show that half of all garden thefts target items housed in garden buildings.
A recent Halifax statement advised owners to exercise particular vigilance as the clocks went back, with statistics from the last decade showing a pattern of increased thefts over the darker winter months.
In the light of the rising value of our gardens, and the increased attraction they present to thieves, comprehensive home contents insurance cover is critical.For more on home insurance, click here.