Insurance firm issues beach theft warning

Insurance firm issues beach theft warning
Photo: Hans Kylberg
Insurance company If is advising Swedes to equip themselves with portable safes to tackle the increasing number of thefts on the nation's beaches. If cites statistics from the National Council for Crime Prevention, which show that last summer's beach crime statistics were up 25 percent on the previous year.

Now, with the weather finally set to pick up, Swedish residents will soon be marching back to the beaches in great numbers. And with them they will bring not just picnic baskets and swimming gear as in bygone days.

Where thieves of yore might have been lucky to make off with a thermos flask and a prawn sandwich, the current crop of beachcombers can hope to leave the waterside with Gucci sunglasses, a Louis Vuitton bag, an iPod and the odd mobile phone.

And it might not be easy to get an insurance company to pay out for the loss of any of these luxury items.

“Traditional home insurance will only cover theft if people have kept a sufficiently close eye on their possessions,” said Björn Jonason, a product specialist for If, in a statement.

In practice this means that valuables may not be left visible and that bathers should ensure that they take turns when going for a swim.

And while the best advice might be to simply refrain from taking valuables to the beach, If encourages those who prefer not to be without their mp3 players and designer bags to invest in a Yelpie.

A portable safe developed by Australian surfers, the Yelpie is equipped with a motion sensor. Should anybody come too close, a 90 decibel alarm will sound until such time as the the thieves have dropped the loot and the owner has typed in a four-digit PIN code.