I’d like to explain to you how burglars operate, what they do at your door days before the break-in, even though I’ve never been a professional thief. However, I’m in the profession of security analysis and identity theft protection, so I know exactly how a smart burglar tags a home for a robbery.
Many burglars enlist in the help of accomplices to seek out target houses. They then mark these homes with stickers. The stickers are small and not very noticeable, and they’re placed on the front doors. The homeowner or anyone who lives there can easily miss these stickers. How often do you check the outside of your door to see if any stickers have been placed there?
But a burglar has himself covered in case the homeowner notices the sticker. The sticker might say something like “On-call locksmith” or “24 hour computer repair.” There will also be a phone number, but it’s fake. The sticker acts as an advertisement, for a company that does not exist.
Nobody really knows how many such stickers are associated with burglaries, but it’s a ploy that some professional burglars will use.
If an accomplice is involved, he’ll case for vulnerable homes, then inform his “boss.” The accomplice inspects for possible easy entryways into the house.
The Doorknob Casing by a Burglar
The thief will jiggle a doorknob. If the door is unlocked, the thief (or accomplice) will tag the house with a sticker, not necessarily break in right then and there.
What if the burglar who’s casing a home is questioned by a police officer who just happens to be nearby?
The thief says he’s distributing stickers for his business.
A recent article, posted on the Daily Mail site, says that this kind of crime has apparently been circulating in south London: stickers and all. (See bottom of this article for the link.)
I recommend discarding any stickers you find on your door as soon as possible, and even reporting this to the police (don’t throw out the sticker until the police see it).
Though nobody knows what percentage of burglars use these techniques to case a house, it’s very easy to keep tabs on your door and to take action if you spot a new sticker.