Too risky, good target, nothing worth stealing and more.

Is your house a target for robbers Symbols thieves use to mark targets revealed
news Security Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 18:17

Nobody wants to confront a robber - masked or otherwise - in the middle of the night in their drawing room. It is only in almirah and locker advertisements that the thief curses himself for not being able to break open the safe.

Things are quite different in real life. A Facebook post by a Kerala cop sheds light on the kind of "innovative" tactics robbers today resort to. 

Superintendent of Police Hari Shankar IPS took to Facebook to warn people about the modus operandi used by thieves before they actually decide to carry out a robbery attempt. 

On Tuesday, the SP of Pathanamthitta posted photographs of diagrams of six symbols that thieves use to mark houses as targets for robbery. 

He wrote, “If you see any of these symbols on your compound wall or pillar, quickly wipe it off. Your house is under observation for robbery.” 

From “rating” the house as a “good target” and “nothing worth stealing,” other symbols include those for warning the others in the gang about alarms in the residence and what they can expect from a particular house. 

“Too risky” and “vulnerable female easily conned” also figure into the symbols that they believe come handy at the time of robbery. 

Hari Shankar IPS confirmed to The News Minute that the update was posted from his verified account. Elaborating on why he posted the warning message, he said, “So far we haven’t come across this modus operandi anywhere in Kerala. The post was uploaded following the information given to me by Intelligence Wing of Tamil Nadu, after a gang was recently busted. All the symbols are based on their statements. A few of my batchmates in other states have also told me about this technique.” 

He added that the intention of the post was to make the people of Kerala, especially those in Pathanamthitta vigilant, as Mandala season in Sabarimala is to begin in a few days. 

“For the next few weeks, people from other states, especially Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, will travel to Pathanamthitta to visit Sabarimala. It is possible that robbers may also enter the state, disguised as devotees,” he said. 

The post has since been widely shared on social media, with many thanking the officer for the timely warning. Some other clever users interpreted the symbols in a totally different light altogether. 

One user wrote, “So is it safe to draw the last symbol (nothing worth stealing) on our compound wall?”

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