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Old 08 May 2008, 10:03 AM
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htonl htonl is offline
 
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Reporter Thieves using crayons to mark houses for break-ins

This article was the top headline in a local news website:

Red alert for home owners
Quote:
Creative thieves are using crayons to mark houses which they intend to break into, private security companies say.

According to a statement issued by Blue Security, criminals are marking intercoms, gates and walls in the colours green, red and blue.

Green, according to the company, signifies housebreaking, red is for hijacking, and blue is for a vehicle break-in.
It "feels" urban-legend-ish to me, notwithstanding the statements by security companies. What do you fellow snopesters think?
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  #2  
Old 08 May 2008, 10:36 AM
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Ravenhull Ravenhull is offline
 
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Plus, this warning is useless if the theives change thier markings or you are in an area where they don't use this technique.

My biggest problem with this is that, in my experience, theives don't operate in some Medievil Fantasy RPG Thieve's Guild cooperating with each other. As such, I seriously doubt that a given theif would leave marks that would make things easier for somebody else. Most likely, the thief (or very small group of thieves) would case a few locations and go for the first one that looks promising.

Reminds me a bit about the car owner who did all the security stuff only to find the car turned 180 with the note saying 'if we want it, we can get it" as described on the main site. Its a romantic idea, but far from likely.
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  #3  
Old 08 May 2008, 11:07 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Isn't normal street names and house numbers good enough for thieves?
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  #4  
Old 08 May 2008, 11:29 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Isn't normal street names and house numbers good enough for thieves?
Holy... So that's how they do it. But a frightening thought just occurred to me: They might be using maps. Alert the media!
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  #5  
Old 08 May 2008, 12:19 PM
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BringTheNoise BringTheNoise is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Holy... So that's how they do it. But a frightening thought just occurred to me: They might be using maps. Alert the media!
Worse still - they might even have access to Google Earth!!!!
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  #6  
Old 08 May 2008, 12:25 PM
SoToasty SoToasty is offline
 
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Or worse yet. Tom-Tom or some other type of hand-held navigation. They have someone case the house and send a text to their buddies. So everyone be alert and if you see someone texting near your house, call the cops.
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  #7  
Old 08 May 2008, 10:35 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
 
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I believe that in the 20s/30s in the UK there was a tramp's (=hobo's) code which was put in chalk on gateposts, basically telling other tramps wether the house was worth begging at (thinking about it, the code may have started much earlier). I would expect any current code to be more along the line of I-am-a-member-of-X-religious-group-and-have-been-to-this-house-so-don't-bother-with-it, various cults using different colours. The OP sounds almost like advertising - you have been targeted by a gang, so you'd better hire security
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Old 09 May 2008, 12:36 AM
Natalie Natalie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I believe that in the 20s/30s in the UK there was a tramp's (=hobo's) code which was put in chalk on gateposts, basically telling other tramps wether the house was worth begging at (thinking about it, the code may have started much earlier). I would expect any current code to be more along the line of I-am-a-member-of-X-religious-group-and-have-been-to-this-house-so-don't-bother-with-it, various cults using different colours. The OP sounds almost like advertising - you have been targeted by a gang, so you'd better hire security
I had a history encyclopedia type thing that showed a bunch of the hobo marks. I think they essentially boiled down to "food here", "work here", "don't bother", and maybe information about local police or something. IIRC, the code wasn't just for houses, it was also used on train lines and such not.

ETA: The Wikipedia article on hobos has information on the code.
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  #9  
Old 22 May 2008, 04:48 AM
MiddleEye
 
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Good idea whoever said this would make good advertising.
The security company releases this memo and then send 30 guys out armed with crayons and doodle on everyone's houses.
Security system sales through the roof...
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  #10  
Old 27 May 2008, 12:23 AM
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DoubleNaughtSaleen DoubleNaughtSaleen is offline
 
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Swinging in late--I heard the signal was raising the flag on the mailbox. Supposedly to mark the single wymyn's places.
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  #11  
Old 28 May 2008, 04:54 AM
hevach
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleNaughtSaleen View Post
Swinging in late--I heard the signal was raising the flag on the mailbox. Supposedly to mark the single wymyn's places.
This one circled my area once - it was put in an HOA newsletter, and almost immediately, students from the nearby high school started raising random flags on mailboxes every few days. Started a panic - the HOA organized a daily mail collection at the president's house, and he drove the bag to a public mailbox to be sent so people didn't have to use their own mail flags.

As I remember, the police got pretty upset at the constant calls - they did finally catch the kids responsible, but only seemed to do it to get the neighborhood to shut up, since no charges were filed. Was very counterproductive in the end, since there WAS a wave of break-ins later that year (no tags or anything, imagine that), and the police were slow to respond.

Edit: Thinking about it, I think it might have been leaving the mailbox door open or something. It was something to do with the mailbox, anyway.
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