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Cryptic chalk marks to look out for that are left on homes ahead of potential burglaries


The property owner who lives in Richmond claims to have found a mysterious cross marked on a plant pot this week and posted about it on the Next Door app. 

Nearly 10 years ago, police urged residents to remain vigilant after chalk markings were found on an elderly lady’s house in Manchester. 

Officers at the time believed the sinister markings resembled washing machine labels, the Mirror reported, and make specific reference to targeting specific residents. 

For example, a flower sign means ‘wealthy’, a D symbol means ‘too risky’ and an X means ‘good target’. 

The Richmond resident wrote this week about the marking on their plant pot: “We found the ‘x’ marking with black chalk marked on our pot in our patio this morning. 

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“This is definitely man made mark and wasn’t there before as I washed the pots few days ago and would have noticed it. We are afraid this may be robbery mark as a potential target.” 

Several responded claiming the mark could indicate the home might have been identified by criminals as a target and urged caution. 

One said: “It’s a known mark for burglary, car on the drive worth taking (or CAT converter) and also known as looking like vulnerable people living there. Definitely move the pots.” 

“My friend had a marking on her driveway and her car was stolen,” another wrote according to The Daily Mail who contacted Surrey Police for comment. 

Others dismissed the idea of the marking and suggested it was “scaremongering”. 

The Safeguarding Hub, which offers online advice to raise awareness about safeguarding vulnerable people, isn’t convinced whether the symbols translate to crimes. 

The website explains: “The use of the symbols is now disputed by some police forces who have released statements advising that there is no evidence to link these marks to any criminality. 

“The argument against the link to burglars contends that these are in fact, harmless road markings used by utility firms or broadband companies to indicate planned works. 

“However, a bit like ‘crop circles’, these reports of strange marks continue to emerge locally.” 

Residents should remain vigilant, and if they see or hear anything suspicious, should contact their local police. In the event of an emergency, please dial 999. 

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