According to an article posted by the Mirror dated May 12, 2017, criminals have been leaving symbols in the form of mysterious white pebbles outside of people’s homes. These pebbles are a sign to thieves letting them know that susceptible people live on the property.
Neighborhood watch groups, such as Portishead’s Neighborhood Watch, are urging the public to call the police if they discover these pebbles or see any suspicious activity around their homes, including on the driveway, around their cars, and around their front door.
These incidents have been reported in several roads in Portishead, near Bristol, England. Clothing bags with a cancer charity’s branding have been spotted with the pebbles in all the incidents outside the homes, and a man is believed to be a suspect.
According to the police, the man is described as white, with a tall and slim build, long brown hair, and a goatee beard. He has been wearing a red t-shirt and driving a white Mercedes sprinter van.
This has all caused panic among residents, as they are worried about what is happening to their homes when left unoccupied.
Portishead’s Neighborhood Watch’s Nick Gough released a statement regarding the situation that has been occurring.
Gough said reports have been coming in about these incidences occurring outside homes that look unoccupied, especially during the day.
“These distinctive stones are believed to have been left outside of properties which look unoccupied”, Gough told the Mirror.
“This alert should not cause you undue alarm but is a reminder to stay vigilant,” he added, reminding residents to be observant around the exterior of their homes.
“We believe certain roads are being targeted by burglars because of suspicious activity detected over the past few days.”
Regarding how police officers have been involved with these incidences, he noted that “police patrols in the areas currently affected have been increased but please be vigilant.”
This is not the first time these types of incidences have occurred in England. Back in 2013, Devon police discovered warning signs in the form of codes.
Known as the ‘Da Pinchi Code’, several different signs were used by criminals that were left drawn onto people’s houses for other criminals to identify.
Police released a guide to the public providing them with information on what each symbol meant. Neighborhood watch groups were also told to stay on “high alert” in their communities.
This all begs the question as to how effective symbols really are if the police and public end up identifying them in the long run.