Mysterious signs on the wall or on the garden fence: Burglars make use of the “crooks” of their own symbolism to communicate with each other. But what do the signs mean? Here is how to read the secret codes of burglars,
At first glance, the small symbols, also called “crooks” or just “tines”, are hardly noticeable. Often they are drawn with chalk on house wall or garden wall, sometimes also with the knife in the wooden fence scratched. However inconspicuous they may be, for some the signs are very valuable, as they give clues to the inhabitants of the house, and whether it is worth either a friendly contact or even a burglary.
Many myths and legends surround the rogue tines that used to be used by tramps but are still used for communication today. However, whether and how the signs are actually used is controversial and probably only known to those who actually use it themselves.
Read the secret codes of burglars: Myth or reality?
The scribbled symbols are also circulating on social networks. Often they reflect the fears of the population from burglars. No wonder: many symbols are aimed at how easy it is to “get something” here. For example, they provide clues to elderly or single persons who can be more easily seen as victims. In addition, burglars assume that especially in older age groups more money or valuables are available. Here you will find the most common weaknesses in buildings and how burglars exploit them.
Crooks discovered: what to do?
If you see any of these signs on the wall, there is no need to panic. First, take a picture of the symbol and the place where you discovered it. Then you can wipe the tine and report it to the police. In some cases, it may just be the doodle of children or a nasty prank. Whether it is “real” crooks is checked by experts.
Overview: read the secret codes of burglars
Here is an overview of the most common rogue tines, and what they mean. Important: The infographic is not comprehensive and refers to research by the editors.
1. Here the police are active
2. Threat of weapon
3. Here is an overnight stay possible
4. Attention, dog
5. Here’s something to pick up
6. There’s money here
8. Begging prohibited
9. Single person
10. Here live older people
11. There’s something for work
12. Here you can be intrusive
13. Attention, do not try here
14. Be careful, get out quickly!
15. Neighbours watch and call the police
16. No man in the house