Strange markings seen on the side of the road in Queensland has led some people to believe something sinister is going on — but it turns out there may be a very innocent explanation.
The markings, an X and arrow which appear to have been drawn with chalk, were spotted this week on a street in Cairns.
A concerned local posted photos of them on Facebook on Thursday, saying the last time they were seen in the area there was a string of break-ins.
"Be aware," she warned.
There's a somewhat long-standing theory about thieves marking houses, prompting concerns in Australia and overseas.
Back in 2015, police in Scotland warned of a "housebreakers code" that was being used to target properties in the country's west.
In 2019, another Cairns local became concerned about red markings in the suburb of Mooroobool, believing it was the work of criminals.
Last year, a strange scribble on a NSW woman’s doorbell left her frightened her house had been targeted by thieves.
Despite rumours of a burglar’s code popping up on social media from time to time, NSW police have previously said they believe the idea is most likely an urban myth.
Concerning the most recent incident, Queensland police told Yahoo News Australia on Friday there haven't been any break-ins or similar offences reported on the particular street.
However, if anyone has information to suggest otherwise, they should contact Crime Stoppers.
What the codes in Cairns actually mean
While being concerned about bizarre markings near your home is justifiable, there appears to be a very sound explanation for those spotted this week.
The woman who shared the initial photos said it had been noted a group of runners in the area use markings like those she found.
One person said in the comments that running groups use markings to set out their trail.
Someone else shared a photo of another chalk marking that read "RG" — "regroup" — so runners don't get left behind.
Another person said Scouts will use markings for certain events too.
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