When to Call the Police
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.
Examples of suspicious activities:
- A stranger entering your neighbor’s house when it is unoccupied may be a burglar.
- A scream heard anywhere may mean a 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 car.
- Persons entering or leaving a business place after hours could be burglars.
- The sound of breaking glass or other explosives noises could mean an accident, housebreaking or vandalizing.
- Persons loitering around schools, parks, secluded areas or in the neighborhood could be burglars.
Not every stranger who comes into your neighborhood is a criminal. Read on for examples of behavior that can initially appear normal but that take on another character on closer observation.
When Normal Behavior Can Become Suspicious Behavior
- Someone is going door-to-door in your neighborhood. Watch for a while. If, after a few houses are visited, one or more of the persons tries a door to see if it is locked or goes into a back or side yard, it could be a burglar. Such action is even more suspicious if one person remains in front when this occurs or if there is a car following a few houses away.
- Anyone forcing entrance to or tampering with a residence, business or vehicle is suspicious anytime, anywhere.
- A person running, especially if carrying something of value, could be leaving the scene of a crime.
- A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms may be injured, under the influence of drugs or otherwise needing medical or psychiatric assistance.
- Parked occupied vehicles containing one or more persons are especially significant if observed at an unusual hour. They could be possible lookouts for a burglary in progress.
- Apparent business transactions conducted from a vehicle, especially around schools or parks and if juveniles are involved, could mean possible drug sales.
- The abandoned vehicle parked on your block may be a stolen car.
Call 911 immediately if you observe possible criminal activity!
While some, if not all, of the suspicious situations described could have innocent explanations, the Hempstead 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.