Local News

'X' marks the spot for break-ins

Posted June 5, 2010 12:29 p.m. EDT

— Fayetteville police are warning the public that "X" or "O" might mark a home targeted for a break-in.

Police said that in a new crime trend called branding, potential burglars are etching very small symbols – such as the letters X and O, a checkmark or a number – on or near the doors of homes. These homes are viewed as an easy target for a later break-in.

Investigators have determined that at least one home in Fayetteville has been targeted with the branding method.

After an attempted break-in, the homeowner found a small "O" etched on the door. The resident also found a small "X" etched on the door after a suspicious person knocked.

Police said that while searching for easy targets, potential burglars will often pretend to be door-to-door salesmen or to be looking for someone who does not live in the home. Anyone would observes suspicious activity should call 911.

Residents should examine their doors and door frames for any markings or scratches, especially at or above eye level. The markings should be removed, and residents can send the photographs to the police.