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What is Suspicious?

The police need to be alerted to any suspicious persons or activity in your neighborhood.  The following are some examples of what could be considered suspicious activity.  Remember, in your neighborhood you may be the best judge as to what does not feel or look right.  IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT ABOUT WHETHER SOMETHING IS SUSPICIOUS...CALL 911.

  • The sound of breaking glass
  • A broken window (in a building or vehicle)
  • A car repeatedly driving through the neighborhood

Become familiar with your neighborhood and your neighbors.  If you see something that you think may be unusual, report it and let the officers decide.

When you call, your first contact will be the dispatcher.  The dispatcher's job is to obtain vital information about the incident and relay it to the officers.  Remember, the things that seem obvious to you may not be obvious to the officer that is responding.  You can expect the dispatcher to ask you the following questions:

  • What happened
  • When
  • Where
  • Vehicle description (including license plate number)
  • Description of persons involved
  • Direction of travel and time element

The dispatcher may ask you to stay on the phone if you are in fear for your own safety or if you can see the activity as it is happening.  An officer will be there to assist you as quickly as possible.       

Suspicious Persons

  • Going Door to Door in Residential Area - Especially suspicious if, after a few houses are visited, one or more of the subjects goes into a back or side yard. More suspicious if another remains in the front when this occurs.
    • Possible significance: "Casing" for a house to burglarize, burglary in progress, soliciting violation, or a trespass.
  • Waiting in Front of a House or Business - Particularly suspicious if owners are absent, or, if it's a business, and the establishment is closed.
    • Possible Significance: Lookout for a burglary in progress inside.
  • Forcing Entrance To or Tampering With a Residence, Vehicle, etc. - Suspicious under almost any circumstances.
    • Possible Significance; Burglary, theft, malicious mischief, or trespass in progress.
  • Non-Resident Going Into Back or Side Yard of House - Suspicious under almost any circumstances.
    • Possible Significance: Possible burglary or trespass in progress.
  • Person Running - Especially if something of value is being carried.
    • Possible Significance: Fleeing the scene of a crime.
  • Exhibiting Unusual Mental of Physical Symptoms - Do not approach these people.
    • Possible Significance: Possibly injured, under the influence of drugs, or otherwise needing medical or psychiatric assistance.
  • Carrying Property - Suspicious depending upon the circumstances. For example, if at an unusual hour or in an usual place, and if the property is not wrapped as if just purchased.
    • Possible Significance: Subject leaving the scene of a robbery, burglary, or theft.
  • Excessive Human Traffic To and From a Certain Residence - Not suspicious unless it occurs on a daily or very regular basis, especially during late or unusual hours.
    • Possible Significance: Vice or narcotics activities, or a "fence" operation.

Suspicious Vehicles

  • Certain Moving Vehicles - Especially if slow moving and without lights, or if the course followed appears aimless or repetitive. This is suspicious in any location, but particularly in the area of schools, parks or playgrounds.
    • Possible Significance: "Casing" for places to rob or burglarize. Drug pusher or sex offender.
  • Certain Parked, or Occupied Vehicles - May contain one or more persons, especially significant if observed at an unusual hour. 
    • Possible Significance: Lookout for a burglary or robbery in progress. True even if occupants appear to be lovers.  
  • Vehicles Being Loaded With Valuables - Suspicious if parked in front of a closed business or unattended residence, even if the vehicle is a legitimate looking commercial unit, possibly even bearing a sign identifying it as a repair vehicle, moving van, etc.
    • Possible Significance: Burglary or other theft on progress.
  • Abandoned Vehicle.
    • Possible Signficance: Stolen car.
  • Vehicle Containing Weapons - Suspicious under almost any circumstances.
    • Possible Significance: Owner may engage in criminal activity.
  • Other Unusual Activity Involving Vehicles - Persons attempting to forcibly enter a locked vehicle, especially at night or in a parking lot.
    • Possible Significance: Burglary, theft, or malicious mischief in progress.
  • Persons Detaching Mechanical Parts or Accessories from a Vehicle - Suspicious especially at night in the street or in a parking lot.
    • Possible Significance: Theft or malicious mischief in progress.
  • Apparent Business Transactions Conducted from a Vehicle - Suspicious especially if around schools or parks, and if juveniles or females.
    • Possible Significance: Kidnapping, or drug transactions.
  • Objects Thrown From a Vehicle - Suspicious especially while traveling at high rate speed
    • Possible Significance: Disposal of contraband or garbage dumping.
  • Property in Vehicles - Not suspicious unless the property is not normally found in vehicles, especially if observed at unusual hours or if TV sets, stereos, un-mounted tape decks, or auto parts are involved.
    • Possible Significance: Stolen Property.

Other Unusual Situations

  • Property in Homes, Private Garages, Storage Areas, etc. - Suspicious if accumulations are large or otherwise unusual (such a several TV sets in a garage) and if the items are in good condition, but are not in use.
    • Possible Significance: Stolen property.
  • Property Carried by Persons on Foot - Normally not suspicious unless at an usual hour or in an unusual place. Especially questionable if the person is running. May be significant if the property is not wrapped as if just purchased.
    • Possible Significance: Possible stolen property.
  • Property Being Removed From or Being Placed into Vehicles or Buildings - Not suspicious unless unusual hour or places are involved, for instance, from closed businesses or residences whose owners are known to be absent.
    • Possible Significance: Burglary or theft in progress.
  • Open or Broken Doors or Windows - At closed businesses or residences whose owners are temporarily absent.
    • Possible Significance: Burglary in progress or scene of completed burglary.
  • Unusual Noises, etc. - Gunshots, screaming, sounds of combat, abnormally barking dogs, anything suggestive of foul play, danger, or illegal activity.
    • Call the police immediately!.
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