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Stroll on

Buggy Theft on the Increase

Baby buggy pushers beware – thieves are on the prowl! The fashion for increasingly expensive buggies has sparked a new crime wave. Sales of buggies costing more than £500 have gone up by 40% making them an exciting target for thieves. The thefts of baby strollers has almost doubled in the past year, thus fuelling a thriving black market which is now worth £60 million. Unfortunately, parents are unwittingly making this 'black market' more popular by buying second hand strollers.

Sales of top-of-the-range buggies have gone up greatly as parents compete to buy the latest, most sophisticated models. As these have a high resale value, they have become a prime target for opportunist thieves. This, combined with an increase in the number of strollers 'on the road' following the recent baby boom has meant there is now an abundance of valuable buggies for thieves to target. They even steal these unoccupied strollers to order and have a preferred list, with the Bugaboo Bee Plus (worth around £459) being top of the list!

Amazingly, thieves mainly remove these buggies from just inside the home (around 22%) or just outside (11%), while car parks, cafes and restaurants are other buggy-theft hotspots.

As the price of pushchairs has gone up, around a quarter of parents now buy second hand buggies as opposed to new – mainly from online auction sites, or from friends or family. Saving money is a clear motive, considering the average parent purchases three buggies in their lifetime. Yet, unknowingly, these parents are fuelling the buggy black-market, with criminals easily able to sell pushchairs on popular auction sites.

The advice has to be to make sure your buggy is safely secured when stored in the home, and not left visible in porches or on driveways where they can be easily stolen. After all they are on wheels, thus facilitating a quick get away!

Despite the high value of buggies, almost one fifth of parents are unaware whether their pushchair is covered under their insurance policy if stolen from inside the home, while one in five don't know if they are covered if the pushchair is stored outside.

It is worth checking your home insurance. Talk to a professional company and make sure you are fully covered. Westhill Insurance Services can offer sensible advice on this and many other matters. It may seem a long time off before you will be insuring your child for a completely different set of wheels, but for now, buggy crime is on the increase, so make sure your 'vehicle' is fully insured should it go for a stroll on its own!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 15th November, 2010