Police are asking the public for help after a safe containing several firearms was stolen from a Markham home while the owner was away on vacation. They also remind homeowners to take steps to secure their homes.

York Regional Police responded to a break and enter at a residence on Herbert Wales Crescent, in the Woodbine Avenue and Elgin Mills Road East area, on April 12. The safe was discovered the next day at the Greenwood Conservation Area in Ajax and seized for forensic identification.

Police have been canvassing the neighbourhood and the area where the safe was located trying to find witnesses and are now asking anyone who may have noticed suspicious activity in the area between April 7 and 12 or in the area where the safe was discovered to come forward.

The safe is about five feet by two feet and would most likely have required some type of vehicle to transport it from the residence. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7541. Or, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at 1800222tips.com.

Police remind residents to secure their houses, especially when they expect to be away for a while and offer these tips:

• Put lights on timers to give the impression someone is home
• Keep exterior areas around doors and windows well-lit and visible
• Ask a neighbour to park a vehicle in your driveway
• Suspend newspaper delivery
• Have someone regularly clear your driveway of snow or mow your lawn
• Equip your home with a security system and/or video surveillance
• Don’t publicly post your travel plans on social media or leave information about your absence on your voicemail

If you store firearms in a safe, consider securing the safe to a wall or floor or other suitable fixed point.

“We recommend securing the firearm even further by using a trigger lock or other locking device,” police say, in a news release. “Ensure your firearms are always stored unloaded.”