Homeowners without insurance could be at risk as the rate of recorded thefts from outside homes, gardens and sheds has risen by 13% in the past 12 months.
Figures from the British Crime Survey (BCS) show that 1,314,000 incidents were reported in the 12 months to June, compared with just 1,167,000 between July 2009 and June 2010.
Crime levels relating to thefts from outside such areas have remained steady for the last six years and the survey, which is based on interviews with tens of thousands of people in over 45,000 households, also showed increases in lower-level theft offences like pick-pocketing, shoplifting and thefts from homes by workmen.
Chief Constable Jon Murphy from the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said: "We believe the increase in robbery is in part driven by demand for mobile phone handsets, which can fetch more than double their worth on the black market abroad.
"Worryingly, a large proportion of phone owners still do not have passcodes on their phones, leaving them vulnerable to possible ID theft and fraud."
© Press Association 2011