Winter has settled in and many Cochranites are seeking refuge in warmer destinations, escaping the snow and cold. If you're among those planning a vacation to a sunnier destination, the Cochrane RCMP are reminding you to take precautions to secure your home while you're away.

Cst. Clayton Gelinas says it's a good idea to have someone take care of shoveling your driveway.

"Shoveling the driveway we find is a huge one because criminals are looking for those unattended residences and it's easy if there is snow flying and it's not getting dealt with. That's a good opportunity for criminals to keep an eye on that place for sure." 

He warns that it's important to hold off on posting your vacation photos online until you're home. 

"We recommend you don't post those photos until you are back in your home because people are of course searching the social media sites to see if there's any clues that they can find if you're not home. Photos of you being away on a sunny vacation or wherever it is, is an opportunity for a criminal." 

In January 2023, Alberta RCMP recorded 333 home break-ins and over 4,500 for the year. Additionally, 76 mail thefts occurred in January, with nearly 700 reported throughout the year.

Police also recommend residents:

-Utilize a mail holding service or rely on a trusted neighbour, family member, or friend to gather any deliveries to your residence

-Double-check that all windows and doors are securely locked

-Disconnect power to your garage door 

-Install timers on lights to give the appearance that someone is home

-Look into investing in a home security system

Police encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to them.