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SHELL SHOCKED: The Snowbirds’ Getaway Protection Manual

By Staff | Apr 21, 2011

This is the time of year when Sanibel snowbirds begin their trek north. However, given what is happening in Sanibel this year they couldn’t be leaving at a worse time.

Crime is running rampant in Sanibel. Danger is lurking everywhere. The following crimes have been reported in the Sanibel police blotter to date: a motorist was cited for signaling for a left turn and then continuing straight ahead. A dining patron at Timbers failed to place a food order within the allotted 10 minutes.

And a visitor at the Sunday farmer’s market was hauled away in handcuffs for refusing to purchase a single item. Our dedicated police officers have certainly been kept busy. This paradise island is now rife with hardened criminals and the homes of departing snowbirds face dangers never before known.

Tough times require tough measures. If you would like to return to a safe and secure house next fall, you will need to set in motion a series of extreme precautions. The following guidelines will ease your mind as you loll on your northern lake this summer.

1. Be sure to leave left over salmon on your kitchen counter when you leave. Within a few days the stench will be felt throughout your neighborhood and would-be intruders will be sure to stay away from your house.

2. Put chewing gum in all the key holes. This technique may not deter the most hardened burglars, but it will sure get their hands sticky.

3. Leave hundred-dollar bills sprinkled liberally around the living room floor.

4. Leave the front door wide open to act as a decoy for burglars. They will think twice about entering a house that’s too easy to get into.

5. Turn the air conditioning down to 32 degrees to insure sufficient protection against mold and mildew. This will also allow you to freeze steaks and chops right in your living room so that you’ll have food waiting for you when you return in the fall.

6. Place an alligator on your lanai to protect against unwanted geckos and iguanas.

7. Use the time tested ice cream deterrent technique. Leave a gallon of Edy’s ice cream in the freezer with just the right amount of arsenic in it to immobilize burglars until your weekly house inspector arrives later in the week to find them writhing on the floor. No upstanding burglar can turn a deaf ear to Edy’s ice cream.

8. Make sure your security alarm goes off once a week in the middle of the night to wake up your neighbors who are year round residents. This technique will lead your neighbors to conclude that there are burglars in the area and they will be extra vigilant.

9. Leave mouse traps in all the obvious places: on toilet seats, in the refrigerator, in desk drawers, in liquor cabinets, and on the TV cable box.

10. Place a sign in front of your house that says “This house is protected by rabid wolves. Intruders beware.”

11. Smear a trail of Smucker’s Cherry Preserves on each of your front steps leading to your front door. This will ensure that a pack of raccoons will follow this trail and make their way into your house through the front door, which you have purposely left open. If intruders wander in as the raccoons are busy at work uncorking your best bottles of red wine, they will be immediately scared off.

Follow these guidelines and your house will be ready for you when you return next winter. You’ll need a deep cleaning, some carpentry work and massive fumigation. But that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and security.

Another safeguard to consider is to rent the house to a family of raccoons for the summer. Local rental agencies have names of responsible raccoon families on file.