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Identifying Suspicious Persons

Excerpt from Hidden Valley Homeowners Newsletter, April 2007 issue – Updated December 2012

In the February issue we gave you tips on being ALERT to events and suspicious activities in your neighborhood as presented by the National Sheriffs’ Association. Last month highlighted what to look for in suspicious vehicles. This month’s article focuses on suspicious persons.

Time and accuracy are critical in describing suspicious events, vehicles, or persons. Use your law enforcement agency’s emergency number to report life-threatening incidents or a crime in progress, and use the non-emergency number for incidents that have already occurred.

Suspicious Persons:

In preparing descriptions of persons, it is important to write down the following:

  • Sex
  • Race
  • Age
  • Height (estimated from eye contact level measured against your height)
  • Weight
  • Hat
  • Facial hair (beard/mustache
  • Shirt/pants
  • Coat/jacket
  • Shoes
  • Any peculiar or distinguishable mannerisms, physical disabilities
  • Voice characteristics
  • Direction of movement

Confrontations with Intruders

Develop the habit of surveying your home as you approach it. If you see evidence that someone has broken in, DO NOT ENTER. Go to the nearest telephone and call the Sheriff’s Department. Should you confront a burglar, the very first rule is: GET OUT OF HIS WAY!! Never get between a burglar and the exit, and never try to stop him. It may cost you your life!

If you are in your home and someone is prowling outside, make it appear that several people are at home. For example, call to someone, “Dan, there’s something outside.” Call the Sheriff, and if dark, turn on the lights. If an intruder is already inside, retreat and put other doors between the two of you. If you cannot get out, try to signal a neighbor by throwing something through a window, just the noise may frighten a burglar away.

If someone should enter your bedroom while you are in bed, pretend that you are asleep as long as he does not come near you.

If the intruder is armed, do what he says, and see that children do so as well. Remain calm-intruders generally want your property rather than your life.

Memorize a description of the intruder and write it down immediately after he has left; then call the Sheriff. Don’t depend on memory.

Other articles in this series include:

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

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