Now is the time when most property owners consider the closure and winterizing of their cottages for the season.
Cottages and seasonal homes are most vulnerable to thieves from the week following Thanksgiving to the weeks prior to Victoria Day, especially if the owners are not using them for fall, winter or spring getaways.
Members of the Leeds County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment would like to assist cottage owners in Leeds County with some crime prevention tips to keep in mind as you close up the cottage.
Let’s work together as a Community to find the root cause of thefts from cottages with the goal of preventing these crimes from occurring in the first place.
Here are some tips to consider:
•Pack up all food and alcohol and remove from the cottage.
•Do not leave firearms or weapons at the cottage.
•Trim trees and shrubs so that doors and windows are visible from the roadway.
•Secure your windows and doors – close window curtains or blinds and put up shutters.
•Take your valuables with you – electronics, personal items, tools etc.
•Check around your property for objects that could be used to break into your property and eliminate them as options for would-be thieves.
•Ensure that contact (key holder) information is made known for alarms, thefts, weather damage. Ask a permanent resident to check in on your property and provide them with your contact information.
•Winterize any vehicles such as boats and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Ensure they are covered, locked and the keys are hidden. For motorized snow machines, you can remove the track and hide the keys.
•Consider using motion sensors to light up the exterior of the cottage.
•Get to know your neighbours, know who is a stranger and who belongs there and contact the Police if you see someone who appears suspicious.
•Consider an alarm system and leave your contact information with your alarm company.
REMEMBER, LOCK IT OR LOSE IT!