Vandals target ice huts on Lake Simcoe in Keswick
KESWICK, ONT. -- Several ice huts on Lake Simcoe in the Keswick area were vandalized over the weekend, prompting Kevin Cao to sleep out on the ice to ensure the rest of his things were safe.
Cao owns CW Marine & Powersport said he's counting their losses after thieves allegedly ransacked and damaged several interlocking high-end ice huts Sunday.
"Seven out of 13 of our huts were broken into," Cao said. "Seven of our stoves were stolen, three of our propane heaters, the 30,000 BTU heaters, were stolen."
York Regional Police are investigating and said while it's unfortunate, it's nothing new. "It's a very common occurrence," York Regional Police Const. Peter Thibeau said. "Every year, we have a few cases of huts being vandalized or property stolen."
Thibeau said the remote locations make for easy targets. "It's a dark no-mans place out in the middle of the night on the lake. So, it's very hard to track and see who's out there."
Cao stood guard all night to protect his huts. "Last night, two of my staff and myself went out to the ice and slept in one of the huts because we were afraid the person was going to come back again."
Cao said he'd ordered a video surveillance system that he intends to set up on the ice. "It's a big operation to put cameras in."
Until the security cameras arrive, Cao plans to use security guards in the huts overnight - an added expense he said he couldn't afford not to make.