Allotment Break-ins

Mass Break-in at Brentham Allotments

A mass break-in of the huts on Brentham Allotments, located near the Hanger Hill gyratory system, occurred on the night of Friday 29th July. 30-50 huts were broken into. The thieves were well organised and had keys to the site and used one or more vans. Cultivation equipment - strimmers, rotavators, electric generators etc. together with cooking/barbeque equipment were the main targets. Police responded quickly when alerted on Saturday morning. Other Ealing allotment sites are advised to review their security and urged to warn their tenants about the dangers of storing articles of value in their sheds.

Posted 31st July 2011

Repeat Break-in at Brentham Allotments

Brentham suffered a second mass break-in on the night of Saturday 6th August. Being the holiday season with many people away, many tenants had not been around to be alerted to the necessity of clearing their sheds of articles of value by the previous raid. Every shed on the site was broken into. Again the main targets were mechanical cultivation and cooking/barbequing equipment. The thefts were almost certainly the work of the same gang. They had keys to the site and had obviously recognized that there was more to be taken than they could carry on the first raid. Again, other sites are urged to review their security and remind their tenants of the importance of not storing things of value in their sheds.

Posted 11th August 2011

Yet More Mass Break-ins

Pitshanger allotments were hit on the night of Saturday 13th August by what is presumably the same gang of thieves that have previously raided Brentham (see below). In the case of Pitshanger, the gang did not have access to the site keys and used a bolt-cutter to remove a 15 foot length of the chain-link perimeter fence and then drove a vehicle onto the site. In both cases, the main targets were machinery, rotavators, generators and strimmers etc. plus any other items that could easily be disposed of at car boot sales. Garden tools, unopened bags of compost, fertilisers etc. were not taken - presumably as they were considered of negligible second-hand value. Every shed on both sites was jemmied open. In the case of Pitshanger, which has a secure shed where rotavators are stored chained to a concrete post, even this shed was entered, the chain cut and the rotavators taken. In both cases the Trading Huts were left untouched - presumably as the thieves knew that no high value equipment was stored in them. All this points to a thorough casing of the sites - possibly by external "customers" to the Trading Huts. EAP has been informed, even while this news item was being composed, that Ascott allotments have been subjected to repeat attacks starting in mid-July and continuing over nearly every weekend since. These people are extremely well organised and bring along heavy-duty equipment to force entry. The best advice at the moment is store nothing of value in your sheds – otherwise the chances are that it will be stolen!

Posted 18th August 2011

Metal Theft

Unfortunately, the first posting for 2012 is to report yet more break-in problems. The main target appears to be metal, more specifically brass taps. Ascott reported that they had been raided around, or just after, Christmas. It now emerges that the Northfield site run by Pathways, was hit around the same time. In their case all but two of the taps and their associated pipes have been removed from their watering system. The standard galvanised dip tanks remain but various other galvanised tanks and disused baths were lined up for removal possibly at a later date. Many sheds were broken into and rifled through at the same time. It seems inevitable, as in the summer, that other sites will be targeted. Apart from asking tenants to keep an eye out for strangers and to reitterate the importance of not leaving items of value on site, it is hard to see what else can be done other than pressing for stricter control of the activities of rogue scrap metal dealers.

Posted: 5th January, 2012

The Raiders are Back

The mass raids on Ealing allotments have restarted. Brentham allotments were targeted on the night of Easter Saturday. The pattern was the same as last year and almost certainly involves the same gang. Machinery and metal were the main targets, petrol and disel were also taken with brass taps as a secondary or tertiary target. It is almost impossible to protect allotment sites from such raids and the only sensible precaution is not to store anything of value on site. Difficult for those who have limited home storage but as long as there is anything worth stealing they will be back. So - please pass the message around, particularly to new tenants, as there is little doubt that other sites wil be targeted over the coming weeks.

Posted 9th April, 2012

Raiders are Back Yet Again

Brentham suffered another raid last Sunday night. Slightly different approach this time. The gang used bolt cutters on the gate and shed padlocks rather than keys and jemmies. Usual targets machinery - very little around - tenants are beginning to get the message that nothing is safe on site - and anything metal. These raids usually go in cycles so other sites be warned!

Posted, 20th November 2012