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Unfortunately, it is not uncommon in Lubbock and many other cities for homeowners and renters to have their home broken into. Over 2.2 million homes are burglarized in the United States every year, with 70 percent of these crimes occurring during the summer.

Many homes will be broken into while people are traveling or at work for the day, but did you know that some burglars have a method they use to identify what houses they're going to target? While many thieves are reckless and don’t put much thought into their actions, some put a lot of forethought into their crimes. One way these thieves will plan out their next home invasion is by marking their next target in some way.

Thieves will scope out what homes seem like a good target, whether it’s based on seeing expensive cars in the driveway, noticing that the family left for vacation or some other reason. They'll often follow up this investigation by marking their next target with chalk in some way. They will leave a mark on the driveway or even on the house itself so they can come back and recognize which home they planned to break into.

The way that burglars mark their targets will vary depending on where you live. However, some documented symbols you can look out for are circles (an easy house to target), triangles (a single woman in the house) or letters like ‘M’ (empty in the morning) or ‘N’ (empty at night).

So if you ever find any strange marks on your driveway, yard or house, the best thing to do is contact the police to ask about any reports of markings connected to burglaries in your area, then wash them away. If you wash away the mark, even if the burglars recognize your home without the mark they'll hopefully know that you're onto them and they’ll recognize that targeting your home puts them at risk of being caught. Even if it turns out the marks were from some kids in the neighborhood playing with chalk, it's better to be safe than sorry.

I also highly suggest putting some form of surveillance on your home if you don't have any already. Even a video doorbell is better than nothing in case someone decides to target your home and put you or your family in danger.

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