Dog owners issued warning as bizarre white chalk marks outside homes are linked to dog thefts
22 January 2021, 10:50
Dog thieves could be using this subtle technique to steal dogs from homes.
Research has found that dog theft has risen by 250 per cent in a single year, with the demand for canines – especially puppies – rising during lockdown.
Thieves have been known to take dogs from homes, gardens and even from their owners while out for a walk in order to profit from selling them on.
One way dog thieves are believed to be targeting homes and pets is through a chalk marking outside houses.
A few months ago, white chalk marks started appearing outside dog owners homes and were investigated after being linked to dog thefts.
People took to social media at the time to question what the meaning of the strange white chalk marks on their homes, with many linking it to a spike in dog thefts across the UK.
There were reports of the marks in Suffolk mainly, but also some in Ireland and across other parks of the UK.
People have reported seeing the marks appearing on their fences, gates and even bricks of their homes.
Police in Suffolk said they were investigating the marks back in 2020, with a spokesperson telling the East Anglian Daily Times: "We have had reports of some chalk markings being left in areas of Woodbridge and Kesgrave, but at this stage we have nothing to indicate that this is directly linked to the theft of dogs.
"We’d ask residents to remain vigilant and if you see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary please do call police on 101."
One woman from Suffolk, Kelly Maire Crane, shared a picture of the white mark outside her house recently on Facebook, explaining that she was losing sleep over worry for her pet.
She wrote alongside the picture: "Really unsettling to discover a white chalk mark on our back fence this evening, please if you have dogs, check your property for these marks and don't let your dogs out in the garden alone at the moment. Especially if you're in Henley or the surrounding villages. Not gonna sleep tonight."
Another woman from Limerick in Ireland, Ann Allen, also shared a snap of a white mark that appeared on her wall.
She wrote on Facebook: "Warning to everyone in Knocklong there has bee a white chalk mark put on my peer. I went to check them out just now after I saw the warnings on Facebook to be vigilant following the theft of dogs. Apparently there has been markers left on peers of houses with dogs. Be careful with your dog."