Police: Thieves mark houses for break-ins

Example of a door frame marked with a number and a check mark (Fayetteville Police Department)

June 4, 2010 8:37:00 PM PDT
Fayetteville police are warning residents about a crime trend they call "branding."

Police say at least one resident has identified branding on an outer door or frame of a house.

The resident noticed a small O etched on the house's outer door after an attempted break-in. The resident also said he saw a small X etched on the door after a suspicious person knocked on his door.

Police say the branding method marks future targets for break-ins by drawing or etching a very small symbol, such as an X, an O, a checkmark, or a number above or near a door of targeted homes.

Suspects view the marked homes as an easy target to come back to later.

According to police, suspects sometimes pretend to be door-to-door salesmen or pretend to be looking for someone who does not live at the home. They do this to identify easy targets.

Police say residents should check their doors and frames for markings and notify police if they find anything. Residents also can take a picture of the markings and send them to the Fayetteville Police Department. An example of one of the markings is pictured above.

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