Wandsworth Council is warning residents about the appearance of discreet plastic stickers which have reappeared in neighbourhoods after first emerging over three years ago.
The stickers read ‘24/7 locksmith’ with an unissued phone number and are thought to be an indication that the property is an easy target or worth targeting.
It is thought that burglars or their accomplices call at homes throughout the day to see if anyone is home, giving them the opportunity to get up close to the windows, doors and locks for inspection.
If they think the home is worth targeting, then they leave a sticker on the front door which is barely noticeable even to the residents of the home.
The council’s head of community safety Robyn Thomas said: “There are concerns that this may be some kind of organised system that burglars use to mark out homes for targeting.
“We are therefore urging local residents to keep a very close eye out for these stickers and if they find any to remove them straight away and tell the police.
Mr Thomas added: “It also goes without saying that if people can enhance their home security by fitting sturdy locks to doors and windows and alarms then this will always reduce the chances of them falling victim to thieves and burglars.”
It was more than three years ago that police in Wandsworth first became aware of the ploy and now worries have resurfaced after stickers were noticed again.
Battersea police Acting Inspector Guy Osborne said: “There have been a number of reports of locksmith stickers being left on premises. There is a belief that these stickers may be being used to mark premises up as potential targets for burglary. Police are investigating this link.
“If you know anything which may help with police enquiries or see anything suspicious, please call 999 in an emergency or 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
For advice about home security and tips on how to combat burglars, call the council’s community safety team on (020) 8871 6567/8894, email [email protected] or visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/communitysafety