It’s time, I’m very much afraid, to issue another warning – it seems local burglars are at it again – In the last few weeks there have been a number of break-ins to sheds and outbuildings in the Brownhills and wider Walsall area targeting in particular pedal bikes and eBikes.
Bikes are in demand right now with the pandemic waning and lockdown relaxation, so are easy to sell sell on the black market, sales sites, etc.
The local police posted the following warning last week:
We have noticed an increase in the reports of theft of pedal cycles from sheds, garages and other outbuildings over recent weeks, particularly in the Bloxwich area of the borough.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind residents to review the security of your outbuildings. In many cases outbuildings are extremely vulnerable to crime and are often out of view, especially at night, or at the bottom of the garden. The security of these buildings is often overlooked, however many residents keep expensive bikes and tools in them without considering the security and vulnerability of the shed or building.
Please ensure you lock all your outbuildings, and secure your premises as best you can. Don’t leave valuables on view in cars, and make sure anything that could be used in a burglary – ladders, garden tools etc. – is securely stowed away.
There are some good security tips for sheds and outbuildings at this page here and yet more at this link here. The most important tip I think is not just to lock your bike in the shed, but use a bike lock when it’s in there: Preferably to a ground anchor, but if not to something that will be hard or noisy to separate it from. It won’t stop a determined, professional thief but could alert you to the local opportunistic neds.
Get a decent lock too for when out and about. Tips on those and how to use them properly can be found here.
If you’re offered a cheap bike, tools, car stereo equipment or gardening kit, think hard about where it might have come from, and by all means grub the people flogging them into the rozzers – the stuff is probably nicked. Next time, it could be your stuff they take.