Just thought I would remind people to remove valuables from your cars. 19 vehicles were broken into last week at the Canoe and Smoke Lake accesses. Car windows were smashed and items taken. Wallets, GPS's, phones cloths and bags all taken. Three of our groups cars had windows smashed and items taken. Not what you want to find after a great week in the park. Just a reminder.
That I could not tell you, we were the last of the 19 cars to get out of the interior. This coming weekend being the long weekend I'm sure there will be a lot more people around as well as police. I'm sure an alarm would help but be-sure to take wallets and other valuables in with you. One of our party had his wallet stole and got $300 from it and another $1300 from his credit card as well he had to cancel and redo his id.
I always wonder if it's better to leave your vehicle unlocked. They will still rummage through it but at least you save the grief of broken windows and damaged locks. When I leave my vehicle at an access points I take out all the electronics and change and leave my glove box, console etc wide open so people can see it's empty. But I do lock my doors and have never had an issue (touch wood). Makes me sick how people do this kind of thing...
Smart Idea about the glovebox and console being left open.
I was considering doing that, although I feel as though the theives might not be as thick this weekend with the (Hopefully) added police and campers present.
Thanks for the update and sorry to hear you came back from a good trip to a terrible experience.
I have heard that to be true. Leave glove boxes open, unlocked, and even a note on dash saying nothing of value in car. I've had my car emptied of a stereo system right in my garage. You feel totally violated.
Whoever is preying on camper's cars it needs to have their head caved in.
Well for me for over 150 nights my car has been parked in access points in the park over the last 10 years this is the first time it has happened so it won't stop me from being in my favourite place. But a sign will be posted on my windows that there are no valuables in the car.
I get a kick out of the sign posted at the parking area at the Tim Lake access point. It's posted on a tree saying that the area is under video surveillance. Hey if it keeps one half-witted criminal away then it's done it's job! I have a fake video camera mounted outside my front door at home as well....can't hurt right?
This happens every year at the access points of popular canoe routes and trail heads. It's unlikely to be a canoeist and more likely to be some local punk who knows full well that on a nice weekend the access points are going to be filled with cars and that no one will be happening along.
Steve's right on the money about leaving one's vehicle unlocked and the glove box and other inside compartments open and empty. One wants to signal that one's vehicle has nothing of value in it. A thief wants loot he can keep or sell and he doesn't want to waste his time and effort and risk being caught rummaging through a car that plainly signals any time spent on it is useless.
I camp almost exclusively on crown land and leave my car on remote roadsides in the middle of nowhere and people are always asking me how I can possibly feel comfortable knowing my car is left out there unattended. But in all the years I've been doing this, not only have I never been broken into, I've never known of a fellow crown land camper whose car has been broken into or vandalized. No doubt it's happened to some, but the kinds of people who break into cars this way know that parking lots of popular trails and canoe routes will have plenty of cars to break into in quick succession and that many will likely be filled with stuff they can sell easily. So, while I do leave my car locked as normal when I'm crown land camping, when I'm parked in a lot at a trail head or canoe access point in a provincial park, I leave my doors unlocked and my storage box and glove box empty and open.
So far, so good. I recommend that people try what Steve suggested.
I would ask my insurance company first about the doors being unlocked. I know that there are pretty criminals but you may be giving your insurance company (bigger criminal) a reason to deny you claims... "oh you left the doors unlocked and someone when in and vandalized your car". The shareholders want profits and paying out claims isn't profitable. Phone and ask your insurance company.
I take everything with me... doors are locked. Glove box and cover over the back of my station wagon is open. Anyone can see in.
When I shoot weddings or events I leave my gigantic Pelican case in my truck (way too big to lug) and I leave it open as well. I would think a closed Pelican case would generate some interest in a would-be thief.
Good call on the insurance thing...never really thought of that.
A damn shame fer sure , haven't yet had a breakin .
A few bewildered Billy-Bob looks in the window as captured by the trail cam inside the truck .
Seem to stop after flying an Ulster flag from my antenna and settin a six inch bear trap in my truck box with an empty rifle round on the trap plate EH !
I've been told by my insurance company that leaving a key nearby that gets found and used, or a door left unlocked "equals permission" and any claims would be denied.
So I suggest if you plan to make a claim (keeping your deductable in mind) and there are no signs of forced entry, that you create some. A rock through a window is a bit dramatic, but a few scratches near the roor lock might suggest a slim-jim was used.
Then there's the whole business of filing a false police report; and it is, of course, a form of insurance fraud. But now we're talking symantics. They were gonna screw you anyway.
I wonder if it would be worth the effort to put stuff in a dry bag and stash it in the woods under natural litter. It may be advisable until lots of people start doing it and the buggers catch on.
Part of the problem though it that its advised to leave a float plan on display in the car. This clearly tells thieves that you won't be back for 3 days.
I wouldn't leave my doors unlocked. It's an open invention. Leaving glove box/console open and empty says "Hey, there is nothing in here, not worth your time, move along". Leaving doors unlocked invites people inside whether or not there is anything of value. Creates a chance of vandalizing the interior or attempting to rip out stock radio or other parts, easy to pop your hood and steal the battery, etc. Plus the insurance implications already mentioned.
Just my thoughts, but I figure if someone is going on a break in spree, they are going to look for A) Unlocked and B) Visible items. Something that's easy and quick rather than spending time on a vehicle they think is empty.
The input on this had been very good, causing me to change my mind on the business of unlocked doors - in particular the remarks made by a couple of people on how leaving one's doors unlocked might violate the terms of one's insurance in the event of vandalism. So, my recommendation and practice from now on will be to leave the vehicle empty, with storage and glove box wide open for all to see, but with the doors remaining locked.
Someone mentioned leaving a float plan visible in one's car. I have never bothered with this. Instead, I've always informed a responsible person or couple of our float plan along with a time by which, if we don't call them to say we're out safely, to send for help on our behalf. Because my wife and I camp almost exclusively on crown land, there are no park officials who have our route and schedule. Knowing that someone knows where we are, what route we intended to take, and exactly when we'll be out, is very reassuring. They also know what vehicle we drive (including the license plate), what color our tent, tarp and canoe are.
Is there some reason why a float plan should be left in one's vehicle in addition to the above precaution?
Guys, going to add to this, my mother-in-law has an island property and wanted to put deadbolts on the doors, I told her a waste of time as once the thief let mainland he was coming into your place regardless of deadbolts or not.
as for your vehicles, maybe a sign might work, but remember the Thief is there to break into as many cars as he thinks is safe before he gets caught, so no matter if it is open locked or not, he will be breaking into your car if he feels it is safe to do so.
the only thing that might work is a sign that reads you have been broken into before therefore nothing of value is ever left in your car. Or that you have a great big horn that will go off if they break into your car>>>>>
same thing I tell people at work , for break-ins in houses, put a BEWARE OF DOG SIGN with a dog bowl in sight and they will go to another house..
we had people stealing motors on our lake, I locked ours up with heavy duty chains and locks and bolted the motor onto the boat, they are still stealing motors, just not mine as it would take some work on their part.
THIEVE'S are LAZY, make them work and they move onto something easier.
I don't leave the glove box open but do take anything of value, I may put the sign and leave the glove box open from now on though.
Before APP I camped in La Verendrye a lot, where access points are either along the highway where there are a lot of car break-ins or deep within (like the drive to Travers but much longer and less trafficked) were its too out of the way for thieves for only 2 or 3 cars. Butthere are some reserves in the park, so there are people living in the interior, and I read a post on MYCCR (I couldnt find the link again) where somebody had a run in with some guys from a reserve while on a trip and when he got back to his car it had been burnt to the ground. That is pretty bad!!! I never had my car broken into there, but it was always a really big concern, more than I have ever felt at APP.
^^^ Take a marker and black those personal details out. If asked (doubtful) tell them why you did it. They have a copy if they really need to know. Next time fill out the form about the park and tell them you think it's a risk. Maybe they'll find a better way... (the last sentence was a joke... it's the government... it will only cost more... lol).
It's a shame we have to worry about this, I've read about it happening elsewhere but this is the first I've heard of it in APP. It's a very long drive for me so I tend to bring extra stuff along that gets left in the car, such as a set of clean dry clothes for when I get back from my trip and I also keep a tent & sleeping pad in there in case I get there and it's too stormy to hit the lake (I'm not sure the car camping places nearby would allow a hammock, or have properly spaced trees). Plus I hate bringing my full wallet into the park, and I never bring my phone (but need it for the drive), same goes for my car GPS, it's useless on a canoe and I'm not sure I would find my way to the park w/o bringing it on the drive. In the past all of this has been left in my car w/ no issues, I will now have to rethink that strategy.
I'm surprised the bigger access points like Canoe Lake and Opeongo don't have some sort of locker system. Even if I had to pay $5/day to lock up my valuables at the Portage Store I'd be willing to do so. I wonder how effective those fake alarms would be? You know, the blinking LEDs that do nothing but make a theif think twice?
I thought of printing off a note saying that I have place 3 or 4 trail cams capturing anyone breaking into my vehicle and will be able to id the person and their vehicle plate. I dunno, just one more deterent lol...