One woman thought the powder would poison her cat. Others feared their homes were being given a secret code as an indication to potential burglars.
But when police investigated they were able to establish that ordinary cooking flour had been used to leave the marks, made into the rough shape of arrows.
The culprits turned out to be none other than members of Warwick’s Hash House Harriers who get together for a run every Monday at 7pm.
On one or more of their runs the amateur athletes, rather than crooks, had left a “hare and hounds” style trail to follow which involved leaving flour arrows on pavements in Castle Lane, Edward Street, through an alley near Albert Street and at other locations.
PC Wendy Burrows, the beat manager for Warwick, said: “We received several calls from people who were concerned about this strange substance left outside their homes. One lady thought it was poison that would kill her cat and others thought their homes were being singled out. Their unease was understandable. We didn’t know what was going on ourselves until one of our officers investigated.
“She traced the marks back to the running group and the mystery was solved.
“We certainly won’t be telling the Harriers to stop leaving the marks because their activity is healthy and perfectly harmless and the flour is easily dispersed.”