The upcoming long weekend is often a time when families gather to share a special meal. It is also often a time when cottage owners close up their seasonal homes. Frequently, break and enters to these types of properties are committed as crimes of opportunity. Cottages are often located in isolated areas, with decreased chances of criminal activity being noticed. Nova Scotia RCMP would like to offer some tips to help reduce the chances these properties of being targeted by would-be thieves:
- Remove all valuables from your cottage (including firearms);
- Lock / secure all doors and windows;
- Ensure all windows are covered by closing curtains or blinds;
- Ensure all out buildings (e.g., garage or shed) are secured. Remove valuables;
- Don't leave tools and items outside that could be used to break into your cottage. This includes ladders;
- Ensure that your cottage is visited on a regular basis. Consider using a trail camera;
- Ensure your property is well lit, with motion sensors and timers on lights.
Additionally, cottage owners are encouraged to install an alarm system with a local contact person if you don't live nearby. Cottage owners might also consider forming a 'cottage watch' program with other cottage owners to ensure the properties are checked periodically throughout the off-season.
"By making it difficult for would-be thieves to break into your cottage, you're effectively discouraging them' says Nova Scotia RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke. 'The more time it takes them to get into your cottage, the higher the risk they will be seen by someone and that's not a risk they want to take."
The RCMP will always check with neighbours if a break-in occurs in an area. We encourage community members to call to report suspicious activity and help to reduce property crime. Taking note of details such as a vehicle description, a license plate number, or a description of a driver can be a big help and lead to the recovery of stolen property and charges against those responsible.
Nova Scotia RCMP can be contacted anywhere in the province by calling 1-800-803-RCMP (7267). Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.