- Unusual noises and other activity
Gunshots, screaming, sounds of combat or excessive barking of dogs or someone being forced into a car or house are reasons to call law enforcement immediately.
Certain cars that seem to be circling the block repetitively or following an aimless course, particularly without lights in the evening, could be driven by a person casing houses for burglary or by someone waiting for a drug pickup. Possible sex offenders could also exhibit this behavior. Place close attention if the car is seen close to schools, parks or playgrounds.
- Parked vehicles that are occupied
Lookouts for burglaries or robberies in progress may be sitting in the parked car, sometimes pretending to be a young couple in love. An occupied car waiting in front of a house where no one is home or a business that is clearly closed could be the get-away car for a burglary in progress.
This may be a stolen car.
- Stranger walking along the side yard of a house or going into the back yard
Unless it's an acquaintance, relative or legitimate employee doing a check of utilities or repairs to the house it is very likely that this person is a burglar or trespasser.
- Excessive traffic-people and cars at a certain residence
This activity is not necessarily suspicious unless it happens on a daily or regular basis, especially late at night or during unusual hours. A legitimate home-based business may have some traffic, but if it seems excessive, the residents could be engaging in drug trafficking, prostitution or fencing of stolen goods.
- Person carrying or moving personal property
Stories about burglars driving a moving van up to a house and taking everything in broad daylight are sometimes true. Someone carrying personal property on the street or loading it into a car or truck, especially at an unusual time of day or night, could be a burglar.
- Excessive personal property stored in cars or garages
Unless the person is running a garage sale a large accumulation of property represents stolen goods. Especially notice if there are several of the same type of item such as four stereos in the garage.
- Someone going door-to-door in a residential area
Young children selling cookies or legitimate solicitors may have a reason to knock on neighbor's doors. But if someone seems to be randomly going up to doorways, it could be a burglar or a person who is part of a burglary team. Pay particular attention if one person goes around the side of the house while the other stays at the front door.
- Forcible entry to a house or car
This person could have forgotten his keys, or he could be trying to steal something.