What is Suspicious Activity?     Back to Report It!

Nobody knows YOUR neighborhood better than you.  What might be normal someplace else may NOT be normal where you live. 

Many people don't want to bother the police because they are afraid that it may not be a real emergency or that they may be embarrassed if their suspicions turn out to be unfounded.  The police would much rather be called out to investigate than to be called after a crime has been committed.

Suspicious Mail!  << Identifying and Dealing With It!

Indicators of a Crime or Emergency   (from Sierra Vista Neighborhood Watch Guide)

Suspicious Behavior  (from http://dpsw.usc.edu/Suspicious.html)

"Am I witnessing a crime?" Most of us have found ourselves wondering this at some time or other. However, because we are not really sure, we tend to ignore what we have just seen; and hoping it wasn't so, we continue about our business.

This article will focus on what makes someone or something appear suspicious. It's really simple if we remember:


The following are some signs and behaviors that may be suspicious:



Does this behavior indicate someone being in a hurry or does it have a heightened sense of urgency or tension about it? It would be suspicious if he were looking about furtively, as if he were being observed or pursued. Possible significance - he is fleeing the scene of a crime.




If this occurs at an unusual hour or location, and especially if the items are stereo equipment, office machinery, laboratory equipment, or he is carrying a locked bicycle, this behavior is suspect. Possible significance - the subject is leaving the scene of a robbery, burglary, or theft.




If you see a person, or persons, going from house to house and then if one or more goes into a back or side yard, you may be witnessing a crime in progress. It becomes especially suspicious if one or more persons remains in the front while this occurs. Possible significance - they are 'casing' a house to burglarize or are burglarizing a house.




This is not suspicious unless the property is of an unusual nature: television sets, stereo equipment, unmounted tape decks, or auto parts. Possible significance - stolen property.




Any person forcibly entering a locked vehicle, especially at night and in one of our parking areas, is highly suspect.

If a person is seen detaching mechanical parts or accessories, call the police immediately. One of the leading crimes involves burglary from a motor vehicle. While the person's behavior may be appropriate, you are more likely to be witnessing a burglary, theft, or malicious mischief crime in progress.

If you observe apparent business transactions being conducted from a vehicle, especially near primary schools, high schools, or parks, you may be witnessing an illegal drug sale or a sale of stolen property. Try and get the license number and description of the vehicle and occupant(s).

If you observe one or more persons sitting in a parked car closely scanning the area around them, you may be observing lookouts for a burglary or robbery in progress, or for a crime being planned.

If you see a juvenile or female being forcibly taken into a vehicle, you may be watching a kidnapping. A complete description of the vehicle and occupant(s) is crucial and must be relayed to the police immediately.




Suspicious if it is moving slowly and running without lights, or if its course appears aimless or repetitive. This is suspicious in any location, but particularly in areas of schools, parks, or playgrounds. Possible significance - 'casing' buildings to burglarize, drug pushing, kidnapping, or sex offenses.




Possible significance - the person may have been injured in an accident, is under the influence of drugs or medications, or otherwise needs medical or psychiatric assistance.




If you hear gunshots, screaming, sounds of combat, abnormally barking dogs, or anything suggesting foul play, danger, or illegal activity, call 911!