You may have read recently about the ‘Da Pinchi’ code, a system of symbols supposedly used by criminals to indicate key information about your property to one another, such as whether the property has been burgled before, whether the person is vulnerable, whether the home is alarmed, or too risky and several other items besides.
It’s received quite a lot of media coverage, but is it actually true? I must admit, when I first read about this I was quite alarmed, and immediately went outside to check my property. Thankfully, I found no such markings, but I have since noticed them elsewhere.
However, I did start wondering about how this code became established and communicated; for this to work, it would require some kind of network between criminals, in order for this to be established. Now, it’s possible that could happen in prison, but I was still dubious; the psychology of it didn’t seem to fit. Surely it would go against your own interests to identify key targets for other people?
It turns out to be a myth. A little more research makes clear that these are actually symbols used by utility companies to indicate where a lamppost should go, whether a manhole cover is to be moved and so on.