Front door stickers may mark targets for burglars

Published: 19 May 2017

Concerns have been raised that criminals may be using stickers to mark out homes in the borough that could be vulnerable to break-ins.

Discreet plastic stickers – last seen in the area more than three years ago have suddenly started re-appearing in some neighbourhoods.

Attached to front doors they feature the words “24/7 locksmith” and are so small and virtually transparent that residents may not even notice they are there,

The worry is that - for criminals who know what to look for – their presence indicates that the property might be an easy target or worth targeting.

The theory is that burglars or their accomplices call at addresses to see if people are at home during the day. This also gives them the chance to get up close to doors and windows and check out how good the locks are.

If they think the home is worth targeting they leave a sticker on the door. And if they are stopped by police they can claim to be innocently distributing marketing material for the locksmiths firm.

The council’s head of community safety Robyn Thomas said: “There are concerns that this may be some kind of organised system that burglars use to mark out homes for targeting.

“We are therefore urging local residents to keep a very close eye out for these stickers and if they find any to remove them straight away and tell the police.

“It also goes without saying that if people can enhance their home security by fitting sturdy locks to doors and windows and alarms then this will always reduce the chances of them falling victim to thieves and burglars.”

Acting Insp Guy Osborne of Battersea police said: “There have been a number of reports of locksmith stickers being left on premises. There is a belief that these stickers maybe being used to mark premises up as potential targets for burglary. Police are investigating this link.

“If you know anything which may help with police enquiries or see anything suspicious, please call 999 in an emergency or 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

For advice about home security and tips on how to combat burglars, call the council’s community safety team on (020) 8871 6567/8894, email communitysafety@wandsworth.gov.uk or visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/communitysafety

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