Daily Echo [UK]
27 January 2016
POLICE are investigating reports of homes in Christchurch being marked with sawdust which residents are linking to an alleged attempt to steal dogs.
A Facebook post shared by numerous people on social media describes how an un-named person living in Purewell was cold-called by a charity fundraiser from the good cause, Anthony Nolan, last Tuesday evening.
The next day they found a small pile of sawdust outside their home and alleged that their neighbours had also been targeted.
The post continues by saying: "Having spoken to our neighbours, it appears that the sawdust piles were arranged as either a circle or an arrow.
"We think that it could be a dog napping operation as all the houses with circles outside have dogs. We think that the arrow means that the occupier answered but doesn't appear to have dogs." […]
2 February 2016
[…] In a post on the Dorset Alerts community messaging system, PCSO Dan Byrne wrote: "While on patrol recently I spoke to members of a Ferndown-based running club as I noticed two of them in running gear depositing small piles of flour and sawdust at intermittent points.
"They explained that they were marking out the route for a running event taking place in the evening and they use these materials due to the fact that they stand out in the dark and when damp do not blow away easily.
"There is a possibility that other running clubs operate in a similar manner, whether its leaving piles, drawing circles or arrows etcetera."
PCSO Dan Byrne went on to say that there is no 'definitive information stating that all these types of marking belong to either running clubs or organised crime gangs' but he wanted to raise awareness of the alternative use for the material. […]