/ Parenting, Shopping

Stealing iCandy from a baby – thieves target pricey pushchairs

Dog guarding a pushchair in a garden

According to a recent Halifax Home Insurance report, the black market trade in pushchairs is estimated to be worth £60 million. Would this make you invest in more security measures for your pushchair?

Thieves know which pushchair brands to target. The most expensive models, like those made by Bugaboo, iCandy, Quinny and Silver Cross are particularly at risk.

I’ve heard incredible tales of buggy theft in my travels around nursery fairs. Some were stolen through store room ceilings, whole pallets of pushchairs have been lifted from trucks, and warehouses have been ram-raided.

And on a smaller but far more individually distressing scale, I’ve seen stories all over parenting forums and local papers about pushchairs being stolen from outside people’s houses. They’re also being pinched from outside shops, cafes, play centres and swimming pools.

You might think – who would stoop so low? But with some buggies retailing for almost £1,000, it’s not so surprising they’ve become a target.

Buggy security solutions

In response to this growing problem, I’ve noticed a lot of specially designed pushchair locks appear on the market. In most cases I would have thought a standard bike lock would do the same job, however.

And manufacturer Britax has recently announced that its newest pushchair, the Affinity, will have its own code number similar to a car vehicle information number. Owners can register their code online to hopefully make resale of a stolen pushchair more difficult.

Check your pushchair cover

Bear in mind that if you’re unlucky enough to have your pushchair stolen, you might find it’s covered on your home or holiday insurance. It’s definitely something you should check when you’re discussing your policy with your insurers.

In response to this threat would you padlock your buggy whenever you pop into a shop or dash inside the house? Or do you feel parents shouldn’t be tempting fate by splashing their cash on designer buggies that are so very irresistible to criminals?

Don’t miss the chance to chat with our pushchair experts in our live Q&A on 26 November from 12-2pm – we’re offering advice and recommendations on all things pushchair related.

Nick Keir says:
11 January 2013

My bike cost £1000 and gets locked up any time I leave it, so why wouldn’t I do the same with our baby’s travel system that cost about the same? Ours will be locked and security tagged, just like my bike.

Nobody should be put off buying something nice just in case someone else wants to steal it, no matter what it is. Fact of life is that the lowest levels of society will do anything to make a few quid and aren’t selective about what they steal in the process.

Anyone buying a “second hand” buggy should insist on it coming with the original purchase receipt and help stop this scum in their tracks.