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Mysterious tennis balls for front yards arouse fear

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The bizarre rise of tennis balls in the front yards of some homes in far north Queensland has led to a wild theory that they are used by criminals to target some residents.

The theory emerged after a concerned Cairns resident took to a local Facebook community page and revealed that tennis balls had appeared near her carport the night her car was stolen.

“Could this be some sort of tag or am I just paranoid?” she asked the other members.

She said none of her immediate neighbors had dogs or children playing on their properties, while dogs passing by the house were always on a leash.

She said that at least seven balls had appeared on her property at different times.

One of the tennis balls has been left out of the front of a Cairns estate.  Source: Facebook

One of the tennis balls has been left out from the front of a Cairns estate. Source: Facebook

And while Queensland police told Yahoo News Australia that they were unaware of any such tactic being used by criminals in the area, several residents expressed concern following similar experiences.

“Funny you should say that because I was hiking in the Mt Sheridan area with my seven-year-old daughter and she pointed to some tennis balls near the houses out front,” one person wrote on Facebook.

“It’s weird that I found a tennis ball in our driveway today. It was not at all characteristic. And I thought it was strange. ‘ read another comment.

There is speculation about where tennis balls come from

Many expressed concern about the theory, with one person saying it was “super suspicious.”

Other users speculated the use of the balls in such a tactic. Some people said they would be used to seeing if the property had dogs, or if they were thrown at the vehicle, to see if it had an alarm.

Others suggested that the balls’ fluorescent color meant they were easy to see at night and could be used as indicators of which houses to target.

However, some on the page dismissed any threat, with one dog owner saying that her pets often left tennis balls on other people’s property while out for a walk.

Some Cairns residents say they are concerned about the unproven theory.  Source: Getty

Some Cairns residents say they are concerned about the unproven theory. Source: Getty

The police “has no information” to support the “tactics” theory

A Queensland police spokesman told Yahoo News Australia they had no reason to believe this was a tagging tactic currently used by criminals.

“We have no information or intelligence to suggest that this is a tactic used by criminals to target addresses,” they said.

The spokesperson encouraged residents to get in touch Crime Stoppers if they have information related to crime or criminal activity.

It is not the first time that suspicious activity outside the home in Cairns has raised concerns about potential criminal activity. In 2019, a series of curbs outside houses worried residents.

Yahoo News Australia confirmed that the tags did not come from the local energy supplier or the city council, leading locals to believe their pets were at risk of being stolen.

Do you have a storytelling tip? E-mail address: [email protected]

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