The sinister reason people are putting sellotape on your keyholes… and why you should NEVER leave it there

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HOMEOWNERS have been warned to look out for a piece of sellotape left over keyholes – as it’s a new way for burglars to mark your property as vacant.

The seemingly simple ‘Sellotape trick’ is used by prospective thieves to identify which homes are easy targets.

If you spot Sellotape over your keyhole remove it immediately

Homes in Dublin have been the latest targets of this ‘sinister’ trick, with at least two homes in the same street being targeted using this method.

According to one resident, who spoke to the Irish Independent: “It’s a tactic they use.

“They cover the keyhole with clear sellotape to establish if the house is being accessed.

“Two houses were found to have this tape on my street recently in North Strand. This is deeply concerning for residents.”

Residents claim that the same trick has also been adopted by squatters looking for vacant homes to take over.

Locals have now asked for additional patrols of the area, with police looking into the matter seriously.

Residents have been advised to remove any tape they see immediately to prevent making themselves targets.

The trick helps burglars identify if a property is in use and if it will be an easy target to break in toDublin City Councillor Ciaran Cuffe confirmed reports of similar incidents over the past months.

He said: “It can be a way of determining whether a building is in use.

“I could see it being used for sinister uses like burglary, or there may be other reasons.”

The councillor added that there were a number of vacant properties in his constituency but noted that this was the case “for the right reasons”, including people away on holidays or a recent death.


The rise of the sellotape trick is just the latest in a string of concerns for Irish homeowners.

Last year, residents noticed odd road marking appearing on footpaths in the Ballybrack and Shankill areas of Dublin.

It is believed these were also used by burglars to target homes, as they had not been installed by the local council.

Elsewhere, similar markings were popping up in Clonaslee, County Laois, after farmers homes began being targeted after stone mounds and markings alerted burglars to “valuable properties.”


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