Dog owners ‘on edge’ as mysterious white chalk markings appear outside homes
PUBLISHED: 16:26 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:52 23 July 2020
Police have been investigating whether mysterious white chalk marks left outside homes are linked to a spate of dog thefts - with some pet owners in Suffolk saying they feel “paranoid and frightened” they are being targeted.
Pictures have been appearing on social media of distinctive white chalk marks spotted on brickwork, gates and fences of dog owners’ homes, with police urging residents to be vigilant to any suspicious activity.
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “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.”
Officers have also reassured the public that enquiries are ongoing to locate the offenders connected to the recent theft of dogs in Suffolk.
MORE: 17 puppies and dogs stolen from kennels by ‘vile’ thieves
Carolyn Gallacher, who has lived in Woodbridge for more than 20 years, said she has become “paranoid” by the posts on Facebook regarding the white chalk markings appearing outside homes.
She said: “I have been going out every day to check for markings as I’ve been so worried about it, but I didn’t think I would actually find one.
“On Tuesday morning I was quite surprised to find a white mark outside the front of my house and one on my back gate. I reported it straight to the police who told me to stay vigilant as they had quite a few calls and said it was ‘rife’ at the moment.”
The whole situation has made Carolyn feel frightened and anxious, and she is never leaving the house without her dog.
“I am on edge all the time now and I stayed awake all night trying to keep watch after it happened,” she said.
“It is affecting my day to day life as I am always questioning everything and it’s really frightening.”
If someone compliments Carolyn’s dog while out on a walk she now gets anxious that they are planning to steal it.
She said: “The dog is part of the family, it would be like someone taking one of my kids.”
Carolyn said she fears the white markings could be a hoax, but is not willing to take any risks after seeing many similar stories on Facebook.
Jackie Woolven said on Facebook: “This is not a prank or a wind up this is going on and is very serious.
“These people have targeted me twice and it has now cost me £500 for CCTV. They don’t only chalk they also use cable ties and they come round and leave your gates open so when your dog runs out they can steal it.”
Suffolk Constabulary is advising all owners to be vigilant and take extra care surrounding crime prevention measures.
A spokesman said: “In particular, we would advise working dog owners and breeders to review security of any outdoor kennels.
“These incidents are happening in daylight. If dog owners, breeders or kennel owners receive unexpected visitors that cause suspicion, officers would be grateful if descriptions, footage or images of the individuals and/or their vehicles could be reported.”
Anyone with information, including on any previous incidents, is asked to contact police by calling 101 or by reporting online.
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