Hiding in the woods or even the back seat will work, these guy’s tend to have an IQ similar to Cheese!
Taking photos and video also works if you confront the perpetrators with it. Even better if you can get it to the attention of thier families.
Doing all this and handing your stuff over to the Police is hit and miss. So far the dozens of bits of evidence, photos etc. given to the local police with regard to vandalism and theft at the whitewater preserve have been essentially a waste of time.
As Pete said we caught, photographed and confronted a kid who was emptying the pay box. Since the Police have never acted on this I have to assume confronting this kid and letting his mom know what had been happening was what stopped him.
Seems this new crew has been working over the Preserve as well. The woodshed, the utility shed and the pay box have all been vandalized in the last week. Nothing was taken, the money box is pretty nearly bombproof, but they managed to dent it a bit.
I am convinced that this stuff can be dealt with. Of course the police should be informed. However some pro-active steps from paddlers can be taken as well. No need to hurt anyone, just get in their face, if you see someone lurking around talk to them. Ask their name, if they live nearby, would they be interested in getting into paddling. Don’t give them opportunity, lock things up, park in plain view whenever possible, don’t leave tempting valuables visible inside your car.
You all could help reduce the crap in the Preserve by driving thru whenever your in the area. You don’t have to actually do anything just take a spin thru , more activity or the apperance of it can’t hurt.
For my part I have launched a plan to get some of the local kids into paddling this summer. Whitewater Ontario, Boatwerks, the local schools and CIBC have teamed up to offer an introductory to paddling weekend(free of cost) for a dozen or so local kids.I figure if we can get more of them involved locally it will create peer pressure as well as develop some sense of ownership.
So in a sense Pete’s idea of sending them down the Otterslide is a very good one, just maybe we can make it happen in a boat.
That being said, I’m all for using the no boat method as a last resort!