Protect Your Fish House

Operation Identification
Operation ID is an identifying number that you obtain free of charge from the police or sheriff department in your home community. The number can be written with a permanent marker (for property made of cloth) or engraved onto items of any value that you wish to identify. An engraver can be borrowed from your local law enforcement agency or purchased for under $10 wherever hardware products are sold. A metal stamping kit is also available on free loan from Minnesota Crime Watch and can be obtained through your local law enforcement agency.

The description and serial numbers (if it has one) of the items you mark are recorded on a list and kept in a safe place. If your property is stolen, the Operation ID number, a description of each item and any serial numbers, are entered into a nationwide law enforcement computer system.

Mark / Photograph Your Equipment
Place Operation Identification stickers on your equipment and your fish house. This will send a message to the thief that you have marked your property and taken precautions to protect your belongings. You may also find it advantageous to photograph the equipment you normally use in your fish house, especially your tackle box. (Could you describe its contents without looking?) Keep the photos with your property list.

Storing Expensive Items
Remove as many items of property as possible from your fish house when you leave at the end of your day. The equipment that is left behind should be marked with your Operation ID number.

Secure Your Fish House
Incorporate sound physical security measures when building your fish house or upgrade your security:
  • Use a strong steel hasp that covers the screws.
  • Use either a shank-less padlock or a padlock with a 7/16" shank to prevent cutting.
  • Mount the door hinges inside or use hinge pins to prevent the hinges from being removed.
  • If you are using a standard door/frame combination, install a deadbolt lock and reinforce the frame and strike plate with 3" wood screws and an extra 2 x 4 stud if needed. The frame will be better able to withstand the force of kicking or prying.
  • Cover the windows to your fish house with cloth to conceal the contents of inside and small enough to prevent a thief from crawling through. Otherwise, use a removable window pin (or nail) to secure the frame.
Information about the suggestions listed above is found in the Minnesota Crime Watch booklet "What To Do Before the Burglar Comes". This booklet and other crime prevention literature from Minnesota Crime Watch is available free of charge from most law enforcement agencies and sheriffs. The hardware recommended in these publications can be purchased at hardware stores and building centers and installed by the user.

Communication
Communication with your fishing neighbors and nearby homeowners and agree to watch out for one another's property. Know where the nearest phone is located and use it to report suspicious activity while it is occurring. To report a crime or suspicious activity in progress or a medical emergency, dial 911 anywhere in the State of Minnesota. If you dial 911 from a cellular telephone, the Minnesota State Patrol will answer your call and transfer you to the police agency in the jurisdiction you are calling from.

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