Kottayam: Panic gripped residents of Kottayam and nearby areas after people noticed black stickers fixed on to the walls of vacant houses, mainly in Kottayam, Pampady and Thalayolaparambu regions.

In the latest incident, a black sticker was found near the window of Pampady native Hareendran Nair’s house on Wednesday. Since the trend has been noted for the past few days, the police have issued an alert in the area, suspecting the act to be a sign left by thieves.

Three black stickers were found on kitchen window of Thalayolaparambu native Sreekumar’s house, when the family was not at home. Police have started investigation to find if the stickers were pasted by thieves or somebody else to create panic.

Similarly, black stickers were found on houses at Nagampadam and Nattassery the other day.

As rumours spread that a gang of robbers are behind the act, the police have reinforced patrolling, said Kottayam DySP Scaria Mathew. The police have not yet found any clue from the places where the stickers were found. Also no cases of theft were reported from there.