WHAT IS "SUSPICIOUS?" ACTIVITY (Or, When to call the Police)
No police department can function effectively without the concerned assistance of responsible citizens. Police are depending upon you to call and report whenever you observe suspicious persons or actions.
Some people fail to call police simply because they are not aware of what seemingly innocent activities might be suspicious. Others may notice suspicious activity and be hesitant to call for fear of seeming to be a “nosy neighbor” or a “crank.” Still others take it for granted that someone else has already called.
Call the police immediately about all suspicious activity—and do it yourself. Don’t worry about “bothering” them, because this is the police department’s purpose. Don’t worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove unfounded. Think instead about what could happen if you don’t act.
REPORTS CAN BE MADE ANY TIME BY DIALING 9-1-1 OR CALLING 626-570-5151
DESCRIBING A SUPICIOUS INCIDENT TO POLICE
The following information is the most helpful when reporting an incident:
• Who did I observe?
• What specifically did I see?
• Where did I observe the suspicious behavior?
• When did I observe the suspicious behavior?
• Why do I think the behavior is suspicious?
plus, for a person:
• Age (approximate)
• Height (approximate; use 2 inch blocks)
• Weight (approximate; use 10 lb. blocks)
• Build (medium, heavyset, thin, etc.)
• Hair (color, length, include facial hair)
• Complexion (light, dark, ruddy, olive)
• Eyes (color, glasses)
• Peculiarities (scars, tattoos, missing limbs)
• Clothing (from head to toe, style, defects)
• Weapons (if any)
• Method of escape (direction, vehicle, etc.)
and for a vehicle:
• Year, make and model
• Body type (2 door, 4 door, van, SUV, etc.)
• Passengers (number of people in vehicle)
• License Plate (most important)
• Damage or anything unusual (logos, etc.)
SO, WHAT IS "SUSPICIOUS?"
Basically, anything that seems even slightly “out of place” for the area or during the time of day in which it occurs could mean criminal activity.
• A stranger entering your neighbor’s house when it is unoccupied may be a burglar.
• A scream heard anywhere may mean robbery or rape.
• Offers of merchandise at ridiculously low prices could mean stolen property.
• Anyone removing accessories, license plates or gasoline from a car should be reported.
• Anyone peering into parked cars may be looking for valuables left displayed in the car.
• Persons entering or leaving a business place after hours could be burglars.
• The sound of breaking glass or other explosive noises could mean an accident, housebreaking or vandalizing.
• Persons loitering around schools, parks, secluded areas or in the neighborhood could be sex offenders.
• Persons around the neighborhood who do not live or unfamiliar to you there could be burglars.
Not every stranger who comes into your neighborhood is a criminal by any means. There are perfectly legitimate door-to-door sales, repair, and service people moving around our neighborhoods all the time. But criminals do take advantage of this by assuming the guise of the legitimate business representatives. Read on for examples of behavior that can initially appear normal but that take on another character on closer observation.
After all, if a criminal looked like a criminal, no one would have any trouble spotting him/her.
WHEN NORMAL BEHAVIOUS CAN BECOME SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR
OTHER UNUSUAL ACTIVITIES WORTH REPORTING
IN SUMMARY, "DON'T IGNORE IT; REPORT IT!"
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you observe possible criminal activity. While some, if not all, of the suspicious situations described above could have innocent explanations, the Alhambra Police Department would rather investigate a situation that could suggest criminal activity than be called when it's too late. Your involvement could save a life, prevent an injury, or stop a crime.