WHAT IS SUSPICIOUS? Many times, we have that voice in our head, that an event or activity is out of the ordinary. The voice that keeps us, "everyone" safe and sound.

  Don't worry about bothering the police. Don't worry about being embarrassed if your suspicious activity proves unfounded. The following are a list of specific events that the police want to hear from you:

  1. Going Door to Door In a Residential Area: Especially suspicious if after a few houses are visited, one or more of the persons goes into a back or side yard. More suspicious if another remains in the front when this occurs. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Casing for a house to burglarize, burglary in progress, trespassing, or soliciting. Solicitors must register with police before conducting door-to-door sales.

  2. Waiting In Front of a House or Business: Particularly suspicious if owners are away, or if it is a business, the establishment is closed. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Look out for a burglary in progress.

  3. Forcing Entrance To or Tampering with a Residence or Vehicle: Suspicious under any circumstances. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Burglary, theft, damage to property, or trespassing in progress.

  4. Non-Resident Going Into Back or Side a Yard of House: Suspicious under most circumstances. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Burglary or trespassing in progress.

  5. Exhibiting Unusual Behavior or Physical Symptoms: POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Maybe injured, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or needing medical or psychiatric assistance.

  6. Carrying Property: Suspicious depending upon the circumstances. For instance, if at an unusual hour or in an unusual location or if the property is not wrapped as if just purchased. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Leaving the scene of a burglary, robbery, or theft.

  7. Heavy Human Traffic To and From a Certain Residence: Not suspicious unless it occurs on a daily or very regular basis, especially during the late or unusual hours. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Vice, drug, or fencing operations.

  8. VEHICLES Certain Moving Vehicles Especially slow moving and without lights or if the course followed appears aimless or repetitive. This is suspicious in any location but particularly in areas of schools, parks, and playgrounds. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Casing the place to rob or burglarize, drug pusher, or sex offender.

  9. Certain Parked, Occupied Vehicles: These vehicles may be considered suspicious when seen at unusual times and places. Be alert for occupied vehicles that may be the "look out" for burglaries and robberies that may be in progress.

  10. Vehicle(s) Being Loaded with Valuables Suspicious of parked in front of a closed business or unattended residence: Even if the vehicle is a legitimate looking commercial unit – possible even bearing signs identifying it as a possible repair vehicle or moving van. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Burglary or other theft in progress.

  11. Abandoned Vehicle Possible stolen vehicle Vehicle Containing Weapons: Suspicious under most circumstances. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Owner maybe engage in illegal activity.

  12. Other Property in Vehicle: Not suspicious unless the property is not normally found in vehicles – especially of observed at unusual hours or it TV sets, stereos, un-mounted tape decks, or auto parts are involved. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Stolen property.

  OTHER UNUSUAL ACTIVITY Apparent open-air business transactions conducted from a vehicle, especially if around school or parks. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Drug sales or business license violation.

  Persons being forced into vehicle, especially if children or females. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Kidnapping or sex offenses.

  Objects thrown from a vehicle, especially while traveling at high speed. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Disposal of contraband (illegal at the time i.e. alcoholic beverage) or evidence.

  OTHER USUAL SITUATIONS Open or Broken Doors or Windows: At a closed business or residence who owners are possible to be away from the home. POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Burglary in progress or completed burglary. You don't have to be the owner to call.

  Unusual Noises: Gunshots, screaming, sounds of a fight, breaking glass, barking dogs – anything suggestive of foul play, danger, or illegal activity. CALL THE POLICE AT ONCE! -- If it's suspicious, call the police. It could save a life, prevent an injury, or stop a criminal act and help affect an arrest. Don't worry about bothering the police. That's why they exist. Don't worry about being embarrassed if your suspicious proves unfounded. They will find out for you.

  INFORMATION MOST OFTEN NEEDED BY POLICE What Happened? When? Where? Is Anyone Injured? Vehicle License Plate (make, model, style, color)? Description of Flight and Direction of Travel? Description of Persons Involved? Description of you/vehicle (if you wish PO to talk to you in person, they can call you back)? [Operators type and send information to Milwaukee Police while they are on the phone with you]


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Safe & Sound, Inc. is a non-profit organization committed to the mission of reducing violent crime in communities and among youth by blending law enforcement, neighborhood organizing and youth development. Safe & Sound’s vision: “Making Milwaukee neighborhoods safe places to work, live and raise families.” Learn more here!