Stolen buggies 'boost black market'
The fashion for expensive baby buggies is fuelling an increasing number of thefts and a thriving black market, it has been claimed.
Thefts of strollers have almost doubled in a year, with the black market worth an estimated £60 million, according to Halifax Home Insurance.
Sales of top-of-the-range buggies costing more than £500 have increased by 40%, with parents unwittingly fuelling the black market through second-hand purchases.
Details from Halifax suggested criminals were stealing specific models, including the Bugaboo Bee Plus (£459), Silver Cross 3D (£250), Quinny Zapp (£150) and the Maclaren Techno XT (£196).
Most were stolen from inside homes (22%) but 11% went from just outside the property and others disappeared from car parks, cafes and restaurants.
Almost a quarter of parents (23%) had bought second-hand buggies, mainly from auction websites or from friends and family.
However criminals were easily able to sell stolen buggies online, Halifax warned.
David Rochester, head of underwriting at Halifax Home Insurance, said: "It may seem surprising that thieves would stoop so low, yet it appears the increasing value of baby buggies has caused parents to become a target for thieves.
"We recommend all new parents make sure buggies are safely secured when stored in the home and not left visible in porches or driveways."