During the winter months, the Brainerd Lakes begin to form miniature communities with fish houses out on the frozen lakes. Many of our lakes are in rural areas where there is not very much activity going on and everyone needs to take a role in helping each other out to ensure these houses are safe from burglaries.
Fish houses are generally filled with expensive fishing equipment, electronics, and appliances. Since they are not built like a normal home and can be made to be portable and collapsible, they are not as secure as what our homes may be. Due to this lack of security, everyone should implement some, if not all, of the following to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of burglary on the ice:
Mark your property with a way to identify it later (ex. Name, ID Number, etc.)
Take photographs of the items you leave in your fish house. (Ask yourself: Would I be able to describe my items if no photographs were taken?)
Take any valuable items with you when you leave that you wouldn't want stolen.
If you do decide to leave valuable items behind, bolt them to the floor.
Install a battery operated motion light to deter a thief.
Talk with your fishing neighbors and agree to keep an eye out for one another-find out who would be coming and going from each other's fish houses.
Don't leave antennas or satellite dishes on the fish house. Chances are great that you will never see them again.
Leave your fish house unlocked (after taking your valuables home with you). This will prevent damage to the door of your fish house if someone attempts to break in.
Use common sense. If you leave anything behind, it WILL get stolen.
Call 9-1-1 to report ANY suspicious activity to your local police/sheriff's department-vehicles driving with their lights off or stopping at several fish houses for a period of time and moving on to others. Provide as much information as you can to the police such as: number of suspects, physical descriptions, clothing descriptions, any objects or weapons they are carrying, type of activity, and any description of the suspect vehicle.
NEVER attempt to take a situation into your own hands. Nothing is more important or valuable than your own safety!