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12 messages
02/05/2012 at 10:44

Gah! Nine of the sheds on our allotment were broken into last night. They smashed the hasp and padlock off my door, splitting the wood. Other people with metal sheds had them wrenched open with crowbars bending them beyond repair and plastic sheds were just smashed up. Anyone with a simple toolbox had it wrenched open. 

I don't keep anything worth pinching in mine and didn't get much nicked at all, but I'm now wondering what you guys think - from now on I'm not planning on re-locking my shed. They smashed a good hasp and padlock straight out of the wood - it was the shed that broke, not the padlock, and I don't thinkgetting a better lock would improve anything - they just break the shed itself. I even wonder whether seeing a padlock on it made the theives think there was something worth stealing in the first place. 

I've got a turn-button closure on it to stop animals and weather getting in and I trust my fellow allotmenteers (there are only 17 plots and we are on first-name terms with each other). Should I just keep the door  closed and accept that at some point someone might break into the site and nick some of my (very old) tools and an enamel mug or two? I live too far away to lug it all with me each time and I'd rather they didn't smash up the shed just to get to stuff that isn't worth the price of the housing...

What do you think? 

02/05/2012 at 11:41

Sandra this mindless theft and vandalism is so upsetting. I do feel for you.

I had a neighbour who did not lock his car, he did disconnect the battery, on the basis that the cost of replacing smashed windows was more expensive. Has anyone on you site lost a lot, is it worth the theives coming back? Will you have a sense if someone uses your shed for other activities?

02/05/2012 at 11:50

Idiots, thugs, scum bags!  So sorry to hear about this mindless destruction Sandra.  I kind of see your point re to padlock or not to padlock, but it seems that they smashed the plastic ones without locks anyway, so it's not as if they're breaking in only to take things, but to destroy as well.  I'd just put a smaller less expensive lock on, that wouldn't do so much damage to the actual wood, if it was to happen again. You're right to keep only the bare, inexpensive, minimum at the site.  Also, what Kate says concerns me....will they be using your shed for other purposes if it is left completely unlocked.....drug taking etc.  So infuriating.  Best wishes to you and all your fellow allotmenteers. x

Yvie

02/05/2012 at 18:05

I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. It is so mindless and pointless, but then we are dealing with the brain dead society. They have to be brain dead because they don't use their brains for anything else. Allotments are always so remote so no one will hear them smashing their way in. May be you could all get together and put plants around the perimeter that are thorny to try and stop them getting in, anything is worth a try. Good luck to you and I hope you can stop them.

02/05/2012 at 18:58

Scum thats all they are can not leave any thing alone.

When we got broke in we started to take every think home with us but it was a bit of a pain.So we went to the pound shop and bought a padlock from there. so i buried  barrell in my horse maure and i keep my tools in there with a seal tight lid.Apart from rotavotor which i always take home.

Hope ya get sort anyway mate.

03/05/2012 at 05:44

This is the second thread we've seen about shed vandalism in the past few days. The previous thread is here: Shed Vandalism

It seems that this is a common problem. It effects not only sheds on allotments, but private gardens too. Everyone who has a garden is vulnerable.

Personally, I've found that a garden alarm is an effective way of scaring off unwanted night-time visitors. Alarms are not cheap (a couple of hundred pounds). But if the cost was shared by a collective, then something like that might be worth considering.

If it's a council-run site maybe the council would pay something towards the cost; after all, the council is responsible, so they ought to pay. You pay your council tax to provide a police force, precisely to protect you from crime.

03/05/2012 at 08:47

Thanks for your concern, guys! Sadly the council don't want to know - one of the reasons why it got broken into was that the council have stopped cutting the verges that made the site visible to the road. Last year the allotmenteers planted firethorn trees along the edge, but it doesn't seem to have deterred the theives. 

I was one of the lucky ones - they looked at my stuff and carried on, but other people were less lucky. 

I hadn't thought about 'other uses'. Sadly there's no electricity on the site so no alarms to be had. I'm just hoping it was a one-off; that they realised there was nothing worth having and that word will get round the criminal fraternity that we're not worth bothering with. 

I love the idea of burying a barrel in the manure heap - genius. At least you'll be able to sniff out any theives you might get now, Shaun!

Good God this really is pathetic. A small group of people that have no passion for anything in life destroying the little that other people have...

03/05/2012 at 09:07

Sadly, our site is prone to theft too. Even with the high fences, the locks and the barbed wire, they still get. Not only do they nik equipment, but they take wood and plants. In the 7 years of having my allotment, I've been targeted once, and now never leave anything of value in the shed, not even for the night.

Daint let the scum spoil your enjoyment of gardening.

22/06/2012 at 10:19

My wife (she who must, & etc ) have a nice 'lotty just up the road from our house. A lotty fruther up the road was broken into, wood ripped and broken, some good tools nicked and general inconveinience, but it is the mindless morally bankrupt thievery that hurts. We are just trying to do our best in economic downturn. We are trying to grow our veg, re-charge our emotional batteries, have a nice time and some deprived, depraved idiot comes along and tries to bugger it all up. A sad reflection of the times, unfortunately. But then again, fortunately, OUR shed hasn't been hit,    YET. iI have a hasp, padlock and it LOOKS safe and secure, but to a determined  swine, then it is ANYBODY'S target . Inside, everything valuable is chained to its place, padlocked and removal is difficult. Now, where the hell did I leave the keys ??

22/06/2012 at 11:07

I have decided not to lock my shed any more. The thieves did far more damage wrenching the padlock off the wood (and with other people crowbar-ing the door of a metal shed in half and smashing a plastic shed up) than they did actually stealing stuff. It's allotment sheds, the thieves should have known we don't keep anything of value in them. 

22/06/2012 at 12:59

When I hear of things like this I do get upset.  I can't get into the minds of people (and I'll not assume an age) who mindlessly destroy other people's property.  Is it jealousy, vindictiveness or just plain ignorance?  Who knows.

We have six children and they were brought up to respect other people and their property.  We had hard times and our children didn't get things other children had and it was rare to have a holiday yet they are all beautiful adults now.  I'm afraid I believe children are not born bad - they become bad by example and sometimes remain so all their lives.  But, I doubt it will ever change.

Sandra, I suspect you and your fellow gardeners have the mindset to not let this incident spoil the enjoyment you get from your allotments.  I hope so.  Don't let those b***ards win

 

22/06/2012 at 13:31

The sad thing for us is that it has created some tension amongst a formerly happy group of gardeners, whereby one of our number is unhappy with the way the police treated the issue. The rest of us feel that the police did what they could, and treated us with respect, but without real evidence are, frankly, targeting resources towards violent criminals in the wider community rather than chasing  kids who gave us a few smashed locks and the odd stolen tool.

The one who disagrees with us and who feels that the perpetrators should have been hounded by any means necessary,  is now angry with us that we have effectively shrugged our shoulders and got on with life and there is tension where there wasn't before. That, to me, is the real crime - making people who were friends, less so. It will blow over, of course, ultimately our 'lottie is too nice a place to be cross for long, but the very fact that there is disharmony somewhere there should be happiness is bad. 

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