Thieves code used to protect residents

Updated: 2011-12-10 16:10

By Liu Shanshan and Uking Sun (

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The "Da Vinci Code" has found a new use other than solving crime in China– burglar alert.

A local police bureau in Southwest China's Sichuan province published a series of secret signals that may be used by thieves in a bid to publicize theft prevention ahead of the new year, Chengdu-based Western China City Daily reported on Friday.

Thieves code used to protect residents

All together 17 codes, represented in cryptic symbols and drawings, were printed as "police hint" and distributed in residential areas under the jurisdiction of Beixiangzi police station affiliated to the Jinniu Sub-Bureau of Chengdu city, warning residents to be on guard against thieves and burglars.

"The secret codes were possible watchwords and clues left by thieves in charge of detecting before they committed a real theft crime," said Yang Jundong, a police officer from Beixiangzi. "They are often small and hard to notice, usually on a covert corner of your door, or outdoor walls and trees."

The marks, in the wake of an Internet post disclosing secret signals among thieves, were summarized by police officers from the prevention department of Jinniu Sub-Bureau after they saw the post and compiled the codes.

But the police bureau cannot affirm the accuracy of the signals as no crimes are linked with those signals. "No criminals or burglar gangs admitted they have used the marks for stealing," a policeman surnamed Zhang said to China Daily Website in a telephone interview.

But it was still well-received among residents who are on guard against thieves and burglars as crimes go up toward the end of the year.

"It is useful. I'll text-message it to my friends for prevention," said a woman named Huang, after taking a photo of the police notice.

Yang also reminded residents that whoever finds such marks around their home should wipe them out or call the police as soon as possible.