Guarding Garden Gnomes – U.K. Notes Rise in Outdoor Theft

April 18, 2001

According to an article in Britain’s Independent on Sunday there are over 20 million gardeners in the U.K. and they spent £3.35 ($4.86 billion) last year on fertilizers, plants, decorative items and other products for their gardens. This has led to a rapid rise in thefts. Citing figures supplied by Zurich Insurance the Independent says the average Briton loses around $150 a year.

Garden furniture, tools and decorations, including gnomes and even plants, offer easy targets for thieves, and are quite easy to resell. Unfortunately insurance coverage is usually very limited, and while the losses may be substantial, policy limits often result in payment of only a fraction of the replacement costs of the items.

In addition to recommendations to secure tools in locked buildings, and to tie down furniture and planters if possible, homeowners might think about planting spiky plants, such as cactus or thorn bushes around their outdoor perimeter.

Homeowners can also take the precaution of contacting their insurance carrier or agent to check their policy limits, deductible amount, and the possibility of increasing coverage and scheduling valuable items.

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