Basically, anything that seems out of place for your area or for the time of day during which it is occurring may indicate criminal activity. Some of the most obvious things to watch for and report include:
- A person being forced into a vehicle, especially a juvenile or female maybe a possible kidnapping.
- A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms maybe injured, under the influence of drugs, or otherwise needing medical or psychiatric assistance.
- A person running, especially if they are carrying something of value, could be leaving the scene of a crime.
- A stranger entering your neighbor’s house when they are away may be a burglar.
- An abandoned vehicle parked on your block may be a stolen car.
- An apparent business transaction conducted from a vehicle, especially around schools or parks and if juveniles are involved, could mean possible drug sales.
- Any vehicle moving slowly without lights, or following a course that appears aimless or repetitive, is suspicious in any location but particularly so in areas of schools, parks, and playgrounds. Occupants may be casing a place to rob or burglarize or they might be drug dealers or a sex offender.
- Anyone peering into parked cars maybe looking to steal a car or the valuables inside.
- Anyone removing accessories, a license plate, or gasoline from a car should be reported.
- Anyone tampering or forcing their way into a residence, business, or vehicle is suspicious anytime, anywhere.
- Heavy foot or vehicle traffic to and from a certain residence is not suspicious unless it occurs on a daily or very regular basis, especially during late or unusual hours. Such activity might suggest drug sales. Take note on dates, times, description of vehicles and people.
- Offers of merchandise at ridiculously low prices are often too good to be true and might actually be stolen property.
- Parked occupied vehicles containing 1 or more persons are especially suspicious if observed at an unusual hour. They could be possible lookouts for a burglary in progress, even if the occupants appear to be lovers.
- Persons entering or leaving a business after hours may not be workers, but burglars.
- Persons loitering around schools, parks, secluded areas, and neighborhoods might be sex offenders waiting for a victim.
- Someone screaming might indicate a robbery or rape has occurred.
- Someone waiting in front of a house or business becomes suspect if the owner is absent, or the business is closed. This person might be a lookout for a burglary in progress.
- The sound of breaking glass or a loud explosive noise might indicate an accident, burglary, or vandalism.
- Unusual noises such as gunshots, screams, sounds of combat, abnormally barking dogs, or anything that might suggest foul play, danger, or illegal activity should be reported.
- Vehicles being loaded with valuables are suspicious if parked in front of a closed business or unattended residence – even if the vehicle looks legitimate. More and more professional thieves are taking the time and trouble to customize their vehicles with special signs in order to move more freely without suspicion.
- When you see someone going door-to-door in your neighborhood, watch for a while. Do they turn the doorknob to see if it’s locked? Do they go around to the side or rear yard to see if someone is home? If so these individuals might be burglars. Such action is even more suspicious if one person remains in front of the house or if there is a car following the individuals.
Not every stranger who comes into your neighborhood is a criminal by any means. There are many legitimate door-to-door salesmen, repairmen, and servicemen working within Moorestown all the time. Transient vendors are required to obtain and display a Township photo permit when soliciting. Criminals take advantage of this by assuming the guise of legitimate business representatives. After all, if a criminal looked like a criminal, no one would have any trouble spotting him.
Don't hesitate to call the Police at 856-234-8300 if you see suspicious activity. Call 911 for crimes in progress.