Know the signs

How it Works:

Gangs have developed their own personal communication method. A person will scout the area for targets, this person could be anybody either living or working in your area. He/she will mark various targets with what we would assume to be rubbish; once the targets have been selected he/she will inform the gang that everything is set. The gang will then send the burglars in to commit the crime as identified by the “markings”. The burglars then infiltrate the area, since the “markings” have been laid out so precisely, they are able to tell distance to travel, selected locations, what to steal, who to expect inside the premises and what action to take against the occupants.

Identifying the “Markings”:

These are the most common “markings” found. If you carefully observe the area around your property you are bound to spot them.

  • “Z” painted on a stop sign means, multiple targets within the street/road.
  • Small pile of stones in front of a house or property means, there are dogs.
  • Two larger stones placed next to each other means, two elderly people on the target property.
  • Numerous stones place in a line next to each other means, number of people living in the house.

Colours and types of “Markings”:

Red is a violent colour. It indicates that one or more of the occupants are able to defend themselves, meaning that the burglars would need to be armed and should take precaution. This can be indicated with a coke can, piece of paper or a plastic bag.

  • A can placed on its side means somebody is home.
  • A can placed upright means nobody is home.

White means an easy break-in.

  • White plastic bag hung on fence – easy target and no weapons are needed

Green gives direction to target. Green items indicate the direction the thieves should take upon entering the area.

  • Green bottle lying on its side – indicates the direction the burglars must go for their next “marking”.

Blue means assistance from an insider.

  • Blue piece of paper or bag – indicates there is a person on the inside to offer assistance.

Preventing and Awareness:

  • Be aware of your dogs barking, dogs have various barks for different activities, learn your dog’s barking
    habits and don’t treat them as just another barking episode.
  • Be aware of your neighbor’s movements; know who is around you if you need assistance. Trade
    telephone numbers with your neighbors and ensure that you have a good relationship with them.
  • When outside your property, check for “markings” and if possible remove rubbish close to your property.
  • Look at wire fences and walls specifically, if you see rubbish which has been placed on the fence or wall,
    that has not simply fallen there, then you have more than likely found a “marking”, remove it.
  • Make sure that all family members are aware of this practice.
  • Also ensure that your domestic and gardener are aware of this, not only to educate them, but to inform them that you know about this practice as well.

burglar signs