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Warning as burglars use new “plastic strip” technique 

The Guardia Civil is relaying a major alert about a new device being used by burglars to identify empty properties.

They say thieves are planting small plastic labels in the crevices of front doors. These are not easily detected by the naked eye but the criminals know where they are and return a few days later to see if they have been moved. If they are in the same place, they know the property is empty, either because the owners are away or it is generally not habitated.

This method has been detected in La Rioja but police believe the gang responsible roam around all parts of Spain. They also target storage rooms and warehouses.

The strip of transparent plastic is about two centimetres in length and is usually pushed through the bottom of the front door.

The Guardia Civil is taking the opportunity to warn people generally about house security. They say you should always double lock your front door when going out, stop mail if your house is empty for a while, perhaps keep a guard dog, don’t leave high value items in your property, never open your door to a stranger, make sure any staff such as cleaners or builders are totally reliable and known to you and take note of any suspicious vehicles.