Suspicious Activity? Back to
Nobody knows YOUR neighborhood better than you. What might be normal someplace else may NOT be normal where you live.
Many people don't want to bother the police because they are afraid that it may not be a real emergency or that they may be embarrassed if their suspicions turn out to be unfounded. The police would much rather be called out to investigate than to be called after a crime has been committed.
Suspicious Mail! << Identifying and Dealing With It!
Indicators of a Crime or Emergency (from Sierra Vista Neighborhood Watch Guide)
Someone screaming or shouting for help
Someone in need of medical attention
A person running, especially if carrying something of value
Anyone being forced into a vehicle
A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms
Persons making a quick change of vehicles
Burglaries, robberies, thefts, auto-break-ins in progress
someone looking into windows of homes or parked cars
Apparent drug trafficking
Apparent business transactions conducted from a vehicle
Property being taken out of closed businesses or houses where nobody is at home
Open or broken doors or windows to a home or business
Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly and without lights with no apparent destination, or repeating the same action
A stranger sitting in a car stopping to talk to a child, etc.
Suspicious Behavior (from http://dpsw.usc.edu/Suspicious.html)
"Am I witnessing a crime?" Most of us have found ourselves wondering this at some time or other. However, because we are not really sure, we tend to ignore what we have just seen; and hoping it wasn't so, we continue about our business.
This article will focus on what makes someone or something appear suspicious. It's really simple if we remember:
The following are some signs and behaviors that may be suspicious:
|Does this behavior indicate someone being in a hurry or does it have a
heightened sense of urgency or tension about it? It would be suspicious if
he were looking about furtively, as if he were being observed or pursued. Possible
significance - he is fleeing the scene of a crime.
STRANGER CARRYING PROPERTY
|If this occurs at an unusual hour or location, and especially if the items
are stereo equipment, office machinery, laboratory equipment, or he is
carrying a locked bicycle, this behavior is suspect. Possible
significance - the subject is leaving the scene of a robbery,
burglary, or theft.
PERSON GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR
If you see a person, or persons, going from house to house and then if one or more goes into a back or side yard, you may be witnessing a crime in progress. It becomes especially suspicious if one or more persons remains in the front while this occurs. Possible significance - they are 'casing' a house to burglarize or are burglarizing a house.
PROPERTY IN VEHICLES
|This is not suspicious unless the property is of an unusual nature:
television sets, stereo equipment, unmounted tape decks, or auto parts. Possible
significance - stolen property.
UNUSUAL ACTIVITY INVOLVING VEHICLES
|Any person forcibly entering a locked vehicle, especially at night and in
one of our parking areas, is highly suspect.
If a person is seen detaching mechanical parts or accessories, call the police immediately. One of the leading crimes involves burglary from a motor vehicle. While the person's behavior may be appropriate, you are more likely to be witnessing a burglary, theft, or malicious mischief crime in progress.
If you observe apparent business transactions being conducted from a vehicle, especially near primary schools, high schools, or parks, you may be witnessing an illegal drug sale or a sale of stolen property. Try and get the license number and description of the vehicle and occupant(s).
If you observe one or more persons sitting in a parked car closely scanning the area around them, you may be observing lookouts for a burglary or robbery in progress, or for a crime being planned.
If you see a juvenile or female being forcibly taken into a vehicle, you may be watching a kidnapping. A complete description of the vehicle and occupant(s) is crucial and must be relayed to the police immediately.
CERTAIN MOVING VEHICLES
|Suspicious if it is moving slowly and running without lights, or if its
course appears aimless or repetitive. This is suspicious in any location,
but particularly in areas of schools, parks, or playgrounds. Possible
significance - 'casing' buildings to burglarize, drug pushing,
kidnapping, or sex offenses.
UNUSUAL MENTAL OR PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
|Possible significance - the person may have been injured
in an accident, is under the influence of drugs or medications, or otherwise
needs medical or psychiatric assistance.
|If you hear gunshots, screaming, sounds of combat, abnormally barking
dogs, or anything suggesting foul play, danger, or illegal activity, call