There were 21 theft related incidents at cottages in Haliburton County this summer according to Haliburton Highlands OPP. Constable Dianna Dauphinee is reminding people of the precautions they can take to prevent break-ins over the winter.

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Dauphinee says seasonal residents should get to know their neighbours so they have someone to check on their property throughout the winter.

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Here are some more tips to keep in mind while you’re closing up your cottage for the winter:

  • 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 in to 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 (ATV’s). 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