Dog Owners Fearful Over Mysterious Chalk Markings Amid Spate Of Thefts
Many dogs have been stolen across the county recently and residents fear that chalk markings left outside properties are being used to identify potential targets.
The white lines have been spotted on brickwork, gates, and wooden fences in numerous towns and villages, leaving some dog owners afraid to leave their pet's side.
Just a few weeks ago, four dogs and 13 puppies were stolen by 'vile' thieves from Fiveways Boarding Kennels and Cattery in Barton Mills - forcing the kennels to close its doors. And on 6 July, a cocker spaniel puppy was taken from its enclosure on a farm in Hollywell Row.
Suffolk Police said there is 'nothing to indicate that this is directly linked to the theft of dogs' at this stage, but have urged residents to 'remain vigilant'.
Yet while there may not be evidence of a link, very similar accounts of the markings have been shared on social media by people in Lavenham, Bury St Edmunds, Terrington St Clement, and Hopton cum Knettishall, among other locations.
Kelly Crane, from Henley, wrote on Facebook: "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. Not going to sleep tonight."
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Diana Fordham, from Leiston, also shared a post warning people that she had been targeted with the white chalk marks.
She wrote: "Quick heads up to all dog owners in and around Leiston - just had one of the potential dog nappers come to mine about buying something.
"Next thing he was asking about my dogs, how many we have, what breed, how much they are worth. Then he sat out the front of my house taking pictures and on and off the phone making calls for about 15 minutes.
"Police were called, the advice was to keep an eye on your dogs at all times when in the garden, check your fences front and back for markers - they do this so they know what house to hit.
"We found two white chalk marks on the back fence. I advise you all to check your fences."
Meanwhile, Jackie Woolven from Woodbridge said thieves don't just use chalk to identify targets.
She wrote: "This is not a prank or wind up, this is going on and it's very serious. I have been targeted twice, it has now cost me £500 for CCTV.
"They don't only chalk, they use cable ties and they also come round and leave your gates open so when your dog runs out they steal it.
"They knock on your door to see if you want work done, that's how they know you have dogs. Please be very aware."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS