Chilling reason people are finding Christmas garden gnomes outside their homes

People finding themselves inundated with odd Christmas decorations could be a target of a criminal organisation, police are warning.

Bearded ornaments from the festive period could be a sign of criminals targeting homeowners according to North Wales Police, who are alerting residents to a "calling cards" fear.

Flintshire North Police posted a photo of the "Christmas gnome" trouble to their social media pages and warned homeowners to remove the ornament as soon a they could.

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Officials believe burglars are using the lawn decorations as a "calling card" to note whether or not a property is empty, with those inside either absent or on holiday.

A spokesperson for Flintshire North said: "We are aware of a report of individuals in the Broughton area leaving Christmas gnomes in residential front gardens.

"This type of behaviour is sometimes used as a 'calling card' to see if the gnome is collected by the resident."

Calling cards, in this instance Christmas garden gnomes, were allegedly being used to alert thieves and other criminals of property owner schedules, to see when they would be at home.

Police are now asking residents targeted in the strange series of decoration attacks to "remain vigilant" as they investigate who is leaving the calling cards.

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A spokesperson for Flintshire North added: "We would advise residents to be vigilant and ensure your home is secure."

Properties that take in or remove the garden gnome appear to be checked off the list of places fit for a robbery, as police note the "calling card" is to see whether a resident will act.

They said: "If not, the property is likely to be empty and could be an easy target for burglaries."

Crime prevention advice from North Wales Police service noted the need and importance for home security in the event of a potential burglary, including being wary of potentially false distractions.

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