CHALK markings thought to be made by burglars are a common concern for homeowners.

Lists have been widely shared about x's being painted on homes or roads meaning a property is a good target or a series of dots meaning the owner is wealthy.

However, the answer maybe simpler than a secret criminal code.

Some police forces have issued information saying these so-called codes are in fact markings by utility or road contractors.

With an 'x' marking a water pipe and a series of dots revealing the number of cables under the road.

People also worry about other tricks criminals might use to commit crimes.

For example placing sticky tape over a lock to check if homeowners are on holiday or gumming up a bike lock with glue forcing an owner to leave their precious bicycle overnight when offenders return with cable cutters.

Rumours also persist that wheelie bins might be marked with stickers to remind burglars which house to target next or that a line of stones might be used across a drive.