What to Watch For and What to Do
By Neil Ohlenkamp
Community safety relies upon the involvement of citizens in protecting their own neighborhood. Be alert for:
- Someone running from a car or home.
- Someone screaming. If you cannot determine what the screams are, call the police at 911 and report it.
- Someone going door-to-door in the neighborhood or looking into windows and parked cars.
- Someone asking about past residents.
- A person who seems to have no purpose wandering in the neighborhood.
- Any unusual or suspicious noise that you cannot explain, such as breaking glass or pounding.
- Vehicles moving slowly, without lights, or with no apparent destination.
- Business transactions conducted from a vehicle. This could involve the sale of drugs or stolen goods.
- Offers of merchandise at ridiculously low prices. It is probably stolen property.
- Property carried by someone on foot at an unusual hour or place especially if the person is running.
- Property being removed from closed businesses or unoccupied residences.
- A stranger entering a neighbor’s home that appears to be unoccupied.
- A stranger in a car stopping to beckon to a child.
- A child resisting the advances of an adult.
The police need to have accurate information as quickly as possible about a suspicious activity or crime in progress.
- Call 911 and give your name. If a member of a Neighborhood Watch or other community safety program, identify yourself as a member.
- Describe the event as briefly as possible; where, when, how, and who did it.
- Tell if the crime is in progress or if it has already occurred.
- Describe the suspect: sex, race, age, height, weight, hair color and length, clothing, beard or mustache, and distinctive characteristics.
- Describe the vehicle involved: color, make, model, year, license plate, special markings, dents, and which direction they went.