Keep your items safe from thieves

Is it a cabin or a cottage? Rural Crime Watch explains how to protect yourself from thieves.

Is it a cabin or a cottage?

If you’re from Ontario, it is a social faux pas to call your holiday get-away a “cabin.”

If you’re from B.C., Alberta or Saskatchewan and someone referred to your cabin as a cottage, you’d say, “huh?”

Whatever you call your Shangri-La, this is the time of year to put the maximum effort into keeping it safe from theft and vandalism.

Break and enters to seasonal residences are highest in the fall and winter when owners have closed up for the year. Returning in the spring to find your hide-away trashed and your summer toys stolen can be devastating.

The solution to this tragedy can be as easy as becoming proactive and preventing the financial and emotional assault.

Start right now, when you arrive to open the cabin. Settle in, and then find your neighbours. If you don’t know them, this is the ideal time to make friends.

One Rural Crime Watch member said he had worked with his friends over the years to increase their security awareness starting with locking up everything in the fall.

That meant the obvious: boats, outboard engines and other equipment, but it also included rakes, shovels, kids’ beach toys and anything that could be stolen, regardless of the assumed value. The latter is important because once thieves see that the owner is careless with what might be easily replaced, they will return for the larger more expensive items.

The Cariboo’s open-door era is gone and you need to ensure your family’s safety.

Exchange phone numbers, e-mail addresses and encourage seasonals to provide these to RCW so the summer residents can receive crime prevention information throughout the year regarding their residential area. RCW property signs are available from RCW executives and are the ideal message to prospective thieves, the message being, “We do not hide our heads in the sand with ignorance and naivety.”

Contact RCW at

Jonathan McCormick and Denny Fahrentholz are columnists with Rural Crime Watch.

Note: Walt Cobb’s column will be unavailable for the next five months.