Friendly bumper stickers could make you a target for criminals - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Friendly bumper stickers could make you a target for criminals

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Courtesy: R.A.C.E. Courtesy: R.A.C.E.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

You see them just about everywhere you go. They're the "first family" of window decals.

They are Stick figures, representing the parents, children and even the beloved family pet.

They're on the backs of thousands of car windows displaying each family's personalities, including the Jeremy Merlo's family from West Springfield.

"Well this is my wife's decal. It's her car. She got them because she thought they were cool. I'm not sure I get it but she loves them," said  Merlo.

They seem harmless enough, but police across the country are now sending a warning message to those who have a series of stickers on their vehicles.

They said thieves and predators are now using bumper stickers and decals to track their next victims.

According to an Ohio-based search and rescue site, if you have your family decal up on your window along with a "My child is an honor student" bumper sticker, you are displaying how many children you have and where they go to school.

Throw those in with a parking pass on your rear view mirror, and you are also telling where you work or live.

"That's definitely an interesting concept and certainly a concern," said Merlo. 

He said he'll take the warning into consideration, but he's won't be clearing his bumper stickers.

"There's a lot of creeps out there, but I'm not worried about that," he continued.

Merlo said there's one sticker on his car that should actually send a warning message to those criminals.

"If you look at the decal on the other side of the window which is the NRA sticker. I'm not so sure someone's going to pick on this car."

CBS 3 spoke with several Western Massachusetts police departments about the stickers. They said they haven't heard of this type of situation happening in the local area, but always caution people from putting out any personal information in public view.

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