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Police advising families to remove popular stick figure car decals

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, May 30, 2014, 2:35 PM - Police in the U.S. are advising families remove popular stick figure family decals from their cars because they may be putting people at undue risk.

Criminals are the reason behind the nation-wide advisory.

Police say the decals provide offenders with valuable information about a family -- like the number of kids, whether or not there are guard dogs, and more.

For example, decals that depict families who ski or children who play sports provide cues about what time of the day -- and what time of the year -- families are less likely to be home, putting them at risk of a break-in.

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According to The News Wheel, police -- and even some of the sticker manufacturers -- advise against putting the decals on the back of a vehicle.

Search and Rescue Ohio posted an image on Facebook demonstrating how a criminal could source information on a family from decals and bumper stickers:

Still, some critics say the advisory is ridiculous and the decals don't do anything to spur crime.

"This is just stupid local-news fear-baiting," says writer Jason Torchinsky.

"Don't fall for it, or, more likely, make sure your mom doesn't fall for it. You can put any kind of insipid stickers that you want on the windows of your car, and unless it's your social security number, you're not going to make yourself any more a potential crime victim than you'd normally be." 

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