Burglary Markings & Signs – Has Your Home Been Chosen?
Have you noticed suspicious markings on or around your home? Some people say the whole idea of these burglar “short codes” is an urban myth but this article is a great tool to determine:
- What burglary markings and signs are
- What they mean
- Where you might find them
- How to protect your home from an intruder
What are ‘burglary markings’?
Burglars use certain signs and symbols to communicate with each other. According to a Lanarkshire Police article, these can highlight factors like:
Previously burgled – Being burgled once is bad enough, having your home broken into twice is enough to make anyone feel unsafe. Yes, burglars do come back to the same house…read more about that here.
Good target – This marking tells other shady characters that your home is an easy target and to add it to their list. To get this rating, any security measures must be in short supply!
Vulnerable occupant – Do you have an elderly mum and/or dad? Burglars target the homes of the elderly because they are more likely to go unheard. And worse, the pensioners are unlikely to be able to take forceful action should any intruder get caught in the act. A scary thought!
Alarmed house – Quite possibly the best one you can get. The majority of criminals are not going to risk breaking into a property that they know has a security system.
Too risky – This one is right up there with having a home security system. You should still dial 101 if you see any suspicious markings, they may be skipping your place, but your neighbours may not be so lucky.
Has your home been marked?
Chalk on the wall: Check any garden walls, fences or side gates plus the external walls of your home. Front and back!
String tied to the fence: Burglars use string like a bookmark. If you find a piece tied to your gate or fence, notify the non emergency Police line on 101. It’s always better to be safe than sorry…
Shoes: This one is a little less common. But if you find a random shoe left by your gate or driveway, it could be a sign that your home is ‘easy pickings’. Remove it, keep an eye out and, if more appear, notify the non-emergency line on 101!
Sellotape over the keyhole: If the tape is still there a few days later, it shows that no one is going in and out.
Stones near doorways: Has an odd pebble been placed near your front door? It could be a sign your home is vulnerable.
Stickers on bins: Who checks the rubbish bins that they leave out in their front gardens? Some burglars do…
Kidney beans on the doorstep: If the mess isn’t cleared up, it means the house is unoccupied – whether they are away on holiday, on business or the house is just vacant. Burglars don’t care so long as it’s empty. This was a new one that started happening in Manchester in 2021.
Why do burglars do this?
Perhaps the burglar had his eye on your home but the timing wasn’t right. So he left a mark to find his way back later.
Maybe burglars use this code to plan break-ins together.
But if homeowners educate themselves on what to look out for, we can beat the burglars!
How to stop a burglar from targeting your home
There are measures that you can take to avoid being marked as a potential burglary target.
- Windows and doors are locked.
- Valuables are kept out of sight.
- Car doors are always locked.
- Curtains and blinds are shut during the day when you are out.
And CCTV cameras are a great way to pre-empt any chance of a burglary. Burglars who are staking out your home won’t want to get caught on video.
Buyer beware… Systems that are cheap to buy online and quick to install yourself are usually easy to bypass for an experienced burglar.
If burglary markings really do exist, there will definitely be a sign for the DIY alarm!
The writing’s on the wall
Unfortunately, burglars aren’t going to stop. So it’s up to you to take action.
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