Most thieves know better than to carry housebreaking tools around with them. Anyone spotted carrying a toolbag and acting suspiciously around a neighbour’s property is likely to be picked up with incriminating evidence of intent to burgle. They might have a screwdriver which can prise open a basic lock, and then be thrown away if the police arrive. So, thieves are more likely to look for YOUR tools. If they are disturbed, they’ll simply ditch them and run away.
If you store anything useful or valuable in your shed, you may be shocked to discover just how basic most shed locks are. Mass-produced pre-fabricated sheds sold through many DIY outlets and garden centres have locks that will barely stop the wind from blowing the door open. Many of them use a standard key that opens every shed in the range. These sheds are inexpensive because the manufacturers cut costs on extras, such as locks. An opportunist thief with a medium-sized screwdriver could open this type of lock in a few seconds, gaining access to all sorts of equipment which could then be used for breaking into your house.
Securing your shed is just as important as securing your house. Honest people can’t imagine opening a lock without a key, but dishonest people will use anything they can find. Every year, a number of burglaries are reported where someone has broken into a house using a garden spade or fork, shears etc. - even secateurs; all sorts of tools can be used and then discarded, and the thief won‘t care if they‘re damaged or broken in the process. Also, any power tools in your shed may be loaded into a waiting vehicle, to end up being sold at a boot sale in a different area. An ordinary young man loading power tools into the back of a van is easily mistaken for a handyman doing work for a neighbour, and may be ignored.
If your shed came complete with a lock already fitted, you can be fairly certain that this lock is inadequate, and you shouldn‘t rely on it alone. At the very least, take advice on fitting an additional padlock on a strong hasp and staple bolted through from inside. If your shed looks more secure than usual, the opportunist thief is likely to choose an easier option and try elsewhere.