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Criminal codes used in Exeter to show burglars which homes are most vulnerable

By Rich_Booth  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

  • The symbols used by burglars in Exeter

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Burglars in Exeter and across Devon are using symbols drawn on or near properties to indicate which homes to target.

An image posted by TorbayCID has identified eight different symbols used by criminals in Devon showing if a house is alarmed, has been burgled before, is a good target, is too risky, is wealthy or has nothing worth stealing.

The Exeter Neighborhood Police Team confirmed that the images have been spotted in the city and have been ‘drawn where they would be seen by passing vehicles e.g drive entrances’.

Devon and Cornwall Police released the image to warn homeowners of the code.

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@TorbayCID posted; ‘they will be left in or around your property and if you are vulnerable you may not notice them but other criminals might.’

Alarmingly, other symbols used indicate if there is a vulnerable female in the home, or if the occupant is nervous/afraid.

If you spot one of these symbols the public are being advised to report it to a local officer or call the non-emergency number on 101.

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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  • angerelle  |  January 10 2013, 12:14PM

    @TorbayCID has admitted on Twitter that they haven't actually seen any of these symbols in their area (but the Daily Mail reported about it happening in 2009 in Surrey, so hey, it must be going on in Devon in 2013)

    |   1
  • kazfielder  |  January 10 2013, 9:16AM

    It is a well established scam - it's not to alert other burglars it is used within organised theft teams/groups!

  • fannybaws  |  January 09 2013, 8:41PM

    What a load of old tosh, as if a burglar cares enough to help a fellow burglar.

    |   -1
  • kazfielder  |  January 09 2013, 8:00PM

    This was a well known scam in Spain whilst I lived there from 2002-2006 - funny how these scams have a habit of appearing in the UK - wonder how they get here??????