More than one million parents have had their child’s buggy stolen since 2007, new research reveals.
With the average cost of a stolen buggy at £487, the black market in posh prams is fuelling this crime that costs £60million a year.
Official figures reveal thousands of pram thefts but further research from comparison site confused.com shows that very few cases are reported to the police.
One in six parents of children under 12 said they’d had a pram or buggy stolen, adding up to 127,000 thefts a year and 1.5million over the past 12 years. Of these, more than two in five didn’t report the incident.
As well as the pram other high value items are often stolen in the process. In nine out of 10 thefts additional items including mobile phones, handbags, wallets and tablets were taken.
Parents in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Essex need to be particularly vigilant as these regions have seen the highest number of officially recorded cases over the past four years at 518, 269 and 260 respectively.
Disturbingly, crooks often strike during broad daylight and in public places. The most common locations for thefts are cafes, public car parks and outside supermarkets with Mothercare, Silver Cross and Mamas and Papas the most popular brands targeted by thieves.
The study also suggests that parents’ willingness to buy second-hand prams could actually be contributing to the buggy black market.
Tom Vaughan, head of home insurance at Confused.com, said: “Being a parent is expensive, and prams are no exception. Our research shows that on average, parents spend £362 on their child’s pram or pushchair, usually with the intent that they will invest in one to use for all of their children. But the value of a stolen pram is significantly higher, at £487, suggesting that thieves have an incentive to carry out such thefts and sell second-hand prams on the black market.
“The theft of a pram can be an incredibly disruptive, expensive and inconvenient experience for parents.”