Obviously, not every stranger who comes into a neighborhood is a criminal. Legitimate door-to-door sales and repair people appear in residential areas frequently. Occasionally, however, criminals disguise themselves as these workers; therefore, it is important to be alert to the activities of all nonresidents. Law enforcement officials should be called to investigate persons in the following circumstances, who may be suspects in the crimes indicated:
Going door to door in a residential area, especially if one or more goes to the rear of the residence or loiters in front of an unoccupied house or closed business (burglary);
Forcing entrance or entering an unoccupied house (burglary, theft or trespassing);
Running, especially if carrying something of value or carrying unwrapped property at an unusual hour (fleeing the scene of a crime);
Heavy traffic to and from a residence, particularly if it occurs on a daily basis (drug dealing, vice or fence operation);
Screaming (rape or assault);
Loitering around or peering into cars, especially in parking lots or on streets (car theft);
Loitering around schools, parks or secluded areas (sex offender);
Offering items for sale at a very low price (trying to sell stolen property);
Loitering or driving through a neighborhood several times or appearing as a delivery person with a wrong address (burglary).
A quick and thorough description to police is essential in any report made by a citizen. It is important to write down the following: sex, race, approximate age, height, weight, hair (color and length), hat, facial hair (mustache/beard), clothes, shoes, scars or tattoos and direction the suspect headed. Give as much information to the 9-1-1 dispatcher as possible.