Cops shut down sinister theory after disgusting find in Sydney letterbox

Margaret Khursigara said she couldn't help but feel her home had been targeted leaving neighbours on high alert.

Police have shut down suggestions there's a burglar on the loose after a Sydney woman discovered her letterbox overflowing with baked beans while checking the mail.

Margaret Khursigara, 52, who lives in a "quiet cul-de-sac" in West Pennant Hills said her family was "weirded out" after the unusual find on Sunday morning, but a sinister theory later emerged that put neighbours on high alert.

Ms Khursigara said she made the discovery at around 9am when leaving to go for a walk with her husband. "We were shocked when we saw the beans on our letterbox," she told Yahoo News Australia. "It was so odd, yet it felt like a targeted act as we were the only house affected and we’re in a quiet cul-de-sac with no general passersby."

Sydney woman Margaret Khursigara discovered baked beans in letterbox at her West Pennant Hills home.
Margaret Khursigara, 52, was shocked to discover backed beans in her letterbox. Source: Supplied

The mum-of-two said "it felt a bit scary" and wondered "what sort of person would do such a thing?" so she posted in a local community group on Facebook to see what she could find out. It's here other residents shared their thoughts.

"I learned that it can be a tactic [used by would-be thieves] to check if the homeowner is home or away on holiday. Which made sense given many people were away for the ANZAC holiday," she told Yahoo. "Once I heard that I made sure we quickly cleaned it up so that it was clear we were home and we re-set our webcam up given we thought they could return."

Police shut down 'bean theory' in relation to theft

The theory emerged after reports from 2021 of kidney beans being left on the doorsteps of UK homes by would-be thieves. If the beans were not cleaned up it would indicate no one was home and it's believed the culprits would return for more malfeasance.

But a spokesperson from NSW Police told Yahoo News Australia authorities have "spent hours" looking into the claims and they have no evidence indicating it's a ploy used by criminals, particularly here in Australia.

Sydney woman Margaret Khursigara and her husband sitting by water wearing hats.
Margaret was with her husband when she first saw the beans. Source: Supplied

"We have made extensive, protracted enquiries and there is absolutely nothing we can find that [indicates] this is a thing," a police spokesperson told Yahoo. "However we would welcome anybody if they have information and proof that this is a thing, to come forward".

Similar theories have been circulating for some time — including the reason behind strange markings being left on homes — but they're believed to be nothing more than "old wives' tales".

"All our inquiries – including with senior police from The Hills and Ryde Police Area Commands as well as intel – have found no reports of incidents such as these, and this incident has not been reported," the police spokesperson added.

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