It might be easy to write-off a loose light bulb on the exterior of your home as just an odd occurrence created by a faulty light fixture or changing weather conditions.

Some experts, however, say there could be a lot more to the story when it comes to how the bulb ended up like that.

How A Loose Light Bulb Is A Warning Sign

Joel Logan, COO of Reliance Security in Las Vegas, recently told Reader's Digest a loose light bulb outside your home could mean someone is keeping an eye on your place.

In the days leading up to your home being ransacked, a burglars will unscrew exterior lightbulbs. This is done to prep the home for the planned theft.

Criminals may unscrew lightbulbs
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"Lights are burglars' enemy" Logan said in the interview. "In lights, they can be seen."

He recommends not waiting when a light suddenly stops working. Check the bulb to see if it is loose or just simply needs to be replaced.

How To Tell If Your House Is A Potential Target

Metro Security says homeowners should be aware of ways thieves "mark" homes as potential targets.

"Essentially, marking a house means leaving a visible sign or symbol on or near the property," the group's website states. "This could be for a variety of reasons – maybe someone wants to show that they live there, or perhaps they want to indicate that the property is currently vacant."

Metro Security recommends checking two main areas for potential markings.

Unusual symbols drawn in chalk on sidewalks or driveways could possibly be an indication the home is a potential target.

signs your home has been marked for burglarly
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A more discrete location used by criminals is the interior of the mailbox. Either the thief or an acquaintance would make a quick mark inside the mail box or even on the mailbox post in the days leading up to the robbery.

If you do find markings, Metro Security suggests taking photos and noting the date and time you discovered them on your property before contacting police.

"Everyone needs to understand what it means for a house to be "marked" and the consequences of this action, especially when it comes to home value and resale value," the group shared on its website.

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For the past 10 years, the American Association of State Troopers has held a contest to determine which state has the best looking patrol cruiser. Nearly every state police agency submits their best photo of their sharpest patrol vehicle a chance to win the coveted cover photo on the association's annual calendar. From cop cars rushing through blizzards to vehicles on the Grand Ole Opry stage, here are this year's nominees.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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