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Ski and snowboard theft prevention

Snowboards leaning against a rack.
 

Every winter, ski equipment is reported stolen to police. Skis and snowboards are popular targets for thieves, especially at busy hills where they are often left unattended or unlocked while skiers are warming up in the lodge, having a snack or enjoying a fun-filled après-ski.

Ski and snowboard equipment is easily targeted, Expensive skis, snowboards and other items can be easily resold. For statistics on theft in Calgary, visit the Calgary Police monthly statistics and crime map.

Preventing ski and snowboard theft

To prevent ski and snowboard theft, remember to mark it, don't leave it, and lock it. These tips will help:

Did you know? Canada Olympic Park​ provides free equipment engraving throughout the ski season on the first floor of the Day Lodge. This service is available Monday to Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.​
  • Mark your equipment. Make sure your equipment is clearly identified with your driver's license number, initials or another mark to help police identify you as the owner.
  • Keep a record of the boots, skis, and poles. Include the make and model of the equipment, the serial number and any identifiable characteristics to police if items are stolen. This information should be reported to the police if equipment is missing or stolen.
  • Never leave equipment unattended or out of view. A few seconds is all it takes for it to be stolen. Use the buddy system or ask a friend to watch skis or snowboard while unattended.
  • Bring only what is needed to the hill. Leave any extra equipment either at home or locked out of sight in a vehicle. Most resorts or hotels have a special area where skis can be checked either overnight or during the day. Take advantage of these secured areas to store gear safely.
  • Separate skis and put them in two different racks. Be sure to take careful note of where these are placed. Remember to loop poles over skis - this may not prevent poles from being stolen, but may prevent an accidental mix-up and it does make poles harder to quickly swipe and carry away.
  • Register your skis with the hill. Some ski hills incorporate programs that allow skis to be registered, provide methods to prevent theft, and also help owners track down stolen property.
  • Lock up your equipment or use locking mechanisms whenever possible. Many locations offer lockable racks at the base of the hill and locks are available at most ski shops.
  • Secure your valuables in the lockers or check-in services provided. Always use lockable ski storage closets in hotels and other accommodations. Lock the ski rack or ski box of your car.

Reporting lost or stolen equipment

If your equipment is lost or stolen:

  1. Report it as soon as possible to hill security.
  2. If the theft occurred​ within Calgary, report all ski equipment thefts regardless of insurance coverage to the police non-emergency line 403-266-1234. If there are no suspects or witnesses, you can also report the theft online​. Make sure you tell the police about any identifying marks on your skis or snowboard. If your equipment is found, these marks will help police identify you as the owner.
  3. If your equipment was rented, report the theft to the ski rental agency.

​​The Calgary Police Service focuses on recovering property, arresting the original offenders and prosecuting those who buy or sell stolen property. Reporting your loss gives police information and a better chance to find the thieves and charge them, and to recover your property.

If you live in Calgary and the equipment was stolen at a ski-hill outside of Calgary, report it to the police responsible for that jurisdiction. The Calgary Police Service encourages ski hill operators to record the serial numbers of the equipment belonging to their season pass holders. If equipment goes missing, the ski hill will have the information in a database to give to the owner or police.

Missing and stolen equipment registry

A central registry of missing or stolen ski and snowboard equipment is compiled each week from police and ski hill reports. This list of equipment, including the make, model and serial number, is sent to all Calgary pawnshops and second-hand consignment stores and employees must confirm the equipment has not been reported missing before purchasing or consigning it.

Ski hills will often post descriptions of recently stolen skis or snowboards with known serial numbers and it is worth monitoring such lists for stolen equipment.