Do you ever notice patterns when it comes to crime? Whether you're accessing your local rag, a national news programme or a trashy website, there are always stories of criminals making the same mistakes time and time again. From the obvious error of leaving fingerprints or not realising there are CCTV cameras everywhere, to getting their bum caught on a railing or returning to the scene of the crime and acting suspicious in front of the police, half the time those pesky wrongdoers just can't help but mess up.

Over the last year we've noticed an emerging pattern when it comes to theft. For a long time wheelie bins have been the focus of arson attacks, and not just during the week of Bonfire Night, but there are also numerous instances of criminals using a wheelie to transport ill-gotten goods.

Last summer, a woman in Dundee had the audacity to steal ornamental rabbits, frogs and meerkats from people's gardens, both overnight and in broad daylight right in front of their eyes! And only last week, thieves used a wheelie to store fifty bottles of spirits, port and Champagne they had stolen from a Southampton home, running (and trundling) off with over £2,500 worth of delicious booze.

It's not surprising really, when you think about it. Wheelie bins are designed to carry large amounts of all different kinds of materials. They're sturdy and resilient, relatively inconspicuous and extremely easy to move around thanks to their pivoting nature and all-terrain wheels. Plus you can't even see what's hiding inside due to a wheelie's uncompromising rigid framework. We don't condone theft of course (quite the opposite!), but you have to admit that if you need to move a lot of small materials from A to B, a wheelie is an excellent choice.

So the next time you see someone taking a wheelie bin for a walk outside of the regular collection schedule, don't necessarily assume they're criminals, but do look around to see if your neighbourhood is strangely free of garden gnomes.

Garden gnome