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.

This award winning page is copyright © 1994/2007 by Neil Ohlenkamp, Encino Judo Club, USA. All rights reserved. Last modified May 4, 2007.