What to Watch For

Some Not So Obvious Things to Watch For

Someone Going Door-to-Door in Your Neighborhood Not every stranger who comes into your neighborhood is a criminal by any means. There are many perfectly legitimate door-to-door salesmen, repairmen, and servicemen moving around our neighborhoods all the time. But criminals do take advantage of this by assuming the guise of legitimate business representatives.

After all, if a criminal looked like a criminal, no one would have any trouble spotting him. Check identification of all solicitors, meter readers, and repairmen prior to allowing entry into your home.

Be suspicious of an alleged deliveryman with a wrong address or asking if someone else lives there.

Watch for awhile. If, after a few houses are visited, one or more of the persons tries a door to see if it is locked, looks into windows or goes into a back or side yard, it could be a burglar. Such action is even more suspicious if one person remains in the front when this occurs or if there is a car following a few houses away. Call your local law enforcement department or 911 immediately; do not wait for the person to leave.

4 One or More Juveniles Walking Casually Through the Neighborhood Looking into Automobiles, Backyards, Etc. A Person Running, Especially if Carrying Something of Value.

Someone Carrying Property: If it’s at an unusual hour, or in an unusual place, or if the property is not wrapped as if just purchased. A Person Exhibiting Unusual Mental or Physical Symptoms: May be injured, under the influence of drugs or otherwise needing medical or psychiatric assistance.

Human Traffic to And From a Certain Residence: Is not suspicious unless it occurs on a daily or very regular basis; especially during late or unusual hours. It could possibly be the scene of vice activities or a fence operation.

Any Person Taking a Shortcut Through a Backyard: May have just broken into your neighbor’s home. Any Vehicle Moving Slowly And Without Lights or Following a Course That Appears Aimless or Repetitive in Any Location: But particularly so in areas of schools, parks and playgrounds. Occupants may be looking for places to rob or burglarize, or they could be drug pushers or sex offenders.

Parked, Occupied Vehicles Containing One or More Persons: If it is an unusual hour they could be ookouts for a burglary in progress, even if the occupants appear to be legitimate.

Vehicles Being Loaded With Valuables if Parked in Front of a Closed Business: Or unattended residence-even if the vehicle is a legitimate looking commercial vehicle. More and more professional thieves are taking the time and trouble to customize their vehicles with special signs in order to move more freely without suspicion.

Apparent Business Transactions Conducted From a Vehicle: Especially around schools or parks. If juveniles are involved, it could mean a possible drug sale.

Persons Being Forced Into Vehicles: Especially if juveniles or females, may mean a kidnapping.

An Abandoned Vehicle Parked On Your Block: May be a stolen car.

Continuous Repair Operations at Non-Business Locations: Could mean stolen property is being stripped, repainted or otherwise altered.

Open or Broken Doors or Windows at a Closed Business or Residence: If owners are absent could mean a burglary in progress or already completed.

A Beam From a Flashlight in a Neighbor’s Home: Especially if they are away.

Persons Wearing or Carrying Bloody Clothing: Could be a suspect or victim of a serious crime.

Persons Making a Quick Change of Vehicles: May be attempting to elude the police or abandoning a stolen vehicle.

While some, if not all, of the suspicious situations described could have innocent explanations, law enforcement departments would rather investigate a crime-prone situation than be called when it too late. Your call could save a life, prevent an injury, or stop a criminal act. Be Alert!

Who to call If you need law enforcement, fire or medical assistance right away call:

9-1-1

Crime Reports

Sheriff’s Website (Crime Reports search box with updated crime info for our area)

Obvious Things to Watch For

Basically, anything that seems even slightly “out of place” or is occurring at an unusual time of day or night could be criminal activity. Some of the most obvious activities to watch for and report include:

A stranger entering your neighbor’s house when it is unoccupied may be a burglar.

A scream heard anywhere may mean robbery or assault.

Offers of merchandise at ridiculously low prices could mean stolen property.

Anyone removing accessories, license plates or gas from a car should be reported.

Anyone peering into parked cars may be looking for a car to steal or for valuables left displayed in the car.

Persons entering or leaving a business place after hours could mean burglars.

A sound of breaking glass or loud explosive noises could mean an accident, burglary, or vandalism.

Persons loitering around schools, parks and secluded areas could be sex offenders.

Persons loitering in the neighborhood who do not live there could be burglars.

Anyone forcing entrance to, or tampering with a residence, business or vehicle should be reported.