Just because Christmas is over, doesn't mean thieves are done shopping for residential burglary victims. I advise homeowners and renters in Silicon Valley, especially those in high income areas such as West San Jose, Cupertino, Saratoga and Palo Alto to look at the front doors and check for any unfamiliar marks or stickers as mentioned here in this article. If you find them, take a photo of them, and call the police and ask them to come and take fingerprints. While it's likely the burglary scouts used gloves, there's always a possibility they didn't.
Burglars aren’t dumb: They’re apparently enlisting the help of accomplices to seek out homes that are easy targets, then marking them with stickers.The stickers are small and inconspicuous, placed on front doors, being missed by the actual residents.
But in case the resident notices the sticker, the burglars are thinking ahead: The stickers say “24 hour locksmith,” and have a phone number (fake), and thus masquerade as an advertisement for a fictitious business.It’s not known how many of these stickers have been linked to burglaries, but for sure, there’s something fishy here.
The theory by detectives is that the accomplice scouts for vulnerable homes, and this includes inspecting the locks on doors and windows. One of the methods the would-be burglars must be using to determine if a home is a good target is to simply jiggle a door knob and if it's unlocked, then the property is immediately tagged with a sticker.
If questioned by a police officer, the scout simply says he or she is distributing locksmith marketing.
MailOnline reports “There is growing evidence that some organized teams of burglars may be using this method to target homes in south London,” says the council’s crime prevention spokesman, Cllr Jonathan Cook.
Cook’s advice is to immediately discard such a sticker if discovered, then report it to the police.“It also goes without saying that if people can beef up 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,” adds Cook.
Agreed. Certainly Schlage’s Touchscreen Deadbolt would be my recommendation.
The holiday time means longer evening darkness. “There have been a number of front doors found with stickers, giving details of a locksmith, which enquires reveal is not a genuine company,” says Inspector David Bannister from the Wandsworth police.
He says the stickers are placed by the main lock. “It is assessed that these markers are being used by potential burglars to mark potential targets which are then returned to subsequently.”