Police in Porsgrunn, southwest of Oslo, think local bands of burglars are casing out homes to check for long-term absence with the help of matchsticks. With the Easter holidays looming next week, homeowners are urged to take precautions.
Several living in a Porgsrunn neighbourhood discovered pieces of matchsticks propped into their doorjams or window casings. Police think it’s the burglars’ latest “trick” to determine whether a home is vacant. Local newspaper Varden reported how the matchsticks would be dislodged if a door or window is opened, thus alerting any potential burglars that folks were home.
“I called police immediately,” one man who found matchsticks at his parents’ home told state broadcaster NRK. “They think this shows there are professional burglars with scary plans.”
Police reminded Norwegians taking off for Easter holidays that they shouldn’t leave a house with curtains drawn and lights off, or let flowers wilt in a windowsill. They suggest closing and locking an empty garage, forwarding a house telephone to a mobile, asking neighbours who are home to look after the house and setting up sensor-operated outdoor lighting that will turn on with movement. They also suggest photographing the interiors of all rooms and valuables in case a burglary does occur, because it’s often difficult to remember everything that could be stolen.