With the end of cottage season approaching, police are reminding residents to lock up over the winter months.

Inspector Michael Pilon with the James Bay Detachment says one way to minimize the risk of break-ins and thefts is to avoid keeping high valuable items in plain sight. Pilon says cottage owners should remove ladders, tables and chairs from outside that thieves could use to break into the building.

Pilon says police usually receive reports of thefts after people start returning to their cottages in the spring. He says the best way to prevent thefts is by ensuring everything is locked up and an alarm system is installed.

Another thing police say to keep in mind is creating a cottage watch association. These associations usually work closely with police and install signs to let people know that cottage owners will report any suspicious activity.

(Written by: Rudy Kadlec)