As Nova Scotians lock up their cottages, trailers and hunting camps for the winter, the RCMP are out with tips to keep them safe until spring.
Mounties say they get more than 300 reports of break-ins at seasonal properties, and thieves are usually attracted to items they can easily carry and sell.
They say flat screen televisions and other electronics, alcohol and firearms are popular targets, they also get reports of shed and barn break-ins where ATVs, outboard motors and chainsaws are taken.
Inside your cottage, the RCMP recommends removing valuables, locking doors and windows with extra deadbolts and closing curtains. They also say it's a good idea to take photos of the interior and make a list of items, along with serial numbers in case someone is able to get in.
Outside the property they recommend:
- Placing a gate across your driveway
- Securing outbuildings
- Avoid storing any items of value in sheds or barns
- Avoid storing vehicles and their keys at a cottage or camp, including ATVs and snowmobiles
- Installing trail cameras in a location pointing towards the cottage or cabin in order to capture images of suspects, suspect vehicles and licence plates
- If possible, ensure adequate lighting is present
- When possible, attempt to make your property visible from the road by clearing brush and shrubs
They also say it's a good idea to check on the property regularly, if that's not possible, ask a neighbour to help. Make sure it’s someone you trust and ensure they have a contact telephone number to get ahold of you if needed.