Check Your Door! This Little Mark Could be a Big Problem!

Source: JobTube, Arianna J., Freya W., Josh B.

On January 20th,  according to Chinese media, a man in disguise was caught by police for leaving marks at the doors of apartments in a compound in Shenzhen.

On January 15th, the man was found behaving oddly by an occupant named Ma who was actually on a business trip. Per Ma, that day he received an alarm from his IHCS App saying someone was lingering at his door, thus he checked the security-camera footage. During so, he saw that a man in a red helmet and green vest was looking around in the corridor, appearing to be a maintenance worker. After making sure nobody was watching, the man left a mark on the wall next to the door and then left. 

Sensing the danger, Ma immediately informed the security staff and called the police. Shortly after the police caught the man on the 20th floor of the building. Until then, he had made marks on multiple floors.

During the investigation, it turned out the man was not a property maintenance worker at all. Being asked why he made marks, the man explained that it was one of his habits to observe locks and make marks as it was his part-time job to sell locks.

By far, no loss was reported and case is still under investigation.

Be Careful with These Symbols

Per the police, a mark next to the door could be a symbol of being targeted by the thieves, especially before the Spring Festival, which is a peak time for theft. It is taken as a typical m.o. (modus operandi) of burglary, where the thief marks a target and then later takes actions. The police also interpreted some of the symbols:

"+ -": someones at home during daytime but not in the night; while "- +" means the opposite;
"": someone lives alone;
"...": three people live there;
"": it has been burglarized;
"": an ideal target to steal from;
"X": not a target;
: here lives a single woman.

These symbols are not fixed, sometimes thieves use other symbols too, but the universal rule is, they tend to make small marks at an unobtrusive place, normally on the wall next the door as not to be easily found. Once such a mark is found, people should remove it immediately and stay alert, as well as take necessary precautions.