Safeguard unoccupied homes over winter
As summer residents pack up and head to their winter homes, the potential for break-and-enters on Gabriola goes up.
Cpl. Trevor McKay with the Gabriola RCMP advised people to have someone check in on their property regularly.
“It’s always important to have someone check in on their properties to make it look like someone’s there.
“Don’t let papers build up, garbage, debris. For insurance purpose it’s always good to have someone check in anyways; for instance, if the water line breaks or if the hot water tank goes, the window’s broken, or the door’s ajar and the rain gets in.
“Don’t keep any valuables in there if you’re going to be gone. It might not be valuable to you – like alcohol or binoculars or camping gear – but all those things are items to be stolen by people. If you have a [metal] strong box ... with a good solid lock that’s helpful. What they’re taking are the quick value items: alcohol, change, money – items that they can sell fast.
“Timers, lights, a neighbour’s vehicle in the driveway, all those things are good.”
Boat thefts unusually high
A 1978 16-foot Double Eagle boat with a 2006 50-horsepower Honda motor was reported stolen Saturday, Sept. 29 off Breakwater Island. Cpl. McKay said Gabriola RCMP believe it happened either late Friday night or early Saturday morning. The boat has a white hull and black bottom, a hard top and four leather seats.
A 20-horsepower Tohatsu motor was also reported stolen from a boat docked at Page’s Marina. “The owner’s been away for a while so it happened sometime between the middle of August and [Oct. 8],” said Cpl. McKay.
Another boat was stolen on Sept. 10 and was taken from Moonshine Cove on Mudge Island. The boat had a custom aluminum weld, skiff-style motor with a 50-horsepower Mercury. The boat was recovered on Sept. 20 on Round Island with the motor missing.
On July 25, a boat was stolen off Berry Point Road on Gabriola.
All the thefts occurred while the boats were in the water.
“We’re having lots of thefts in regards to marinas and boats in general.... This is definitely an increase from last year.”
There were three other incidents on Mudge and Ruxton islands in the summer in which gas tanks were stolen from motors; a boat had its motor smashed off the transom in August as well.
The RCMP do not know if the thefts are related.
Cpl. McKay stressed for people to have photographs, their motor’s serial number and boat’s Hull Identification Number (HIN) on record.
Owners can also chain their motor to their boat to prevent it from being stolen.