The Palo Alto Police Department and your neighbors need your assistance in the fight against crime. It is this reason that information on how to recognize and report suspicious activity was complied.
You or your neighbor may have observed a crime in progress. What you have observed could be completely innocent or criminal activity. What should you do? Do not hesitate to call the police immediately. Never fail to call because you think the situation is too small or insignificant, or that it will bother the police. If, after investigation, the activity is found to be innocent, it will be regarded as such by the investigating officer.
Here is a list of suspicious activities that should be reported to the police. (This list is by no means complete.)
Someone entering your neighbor's house when it is unoccupied;
Someone who knocks on your neighbor's front door, and when no one answers, walks to the rear of the residence;
Someone who appears to be moving household items late at night;
Someone running down the street or through your yard with a pillowcase or a bedspread or luggage stuffed with various items;
A slow-moving vehicle, especially without lights, following an aimless or repetitive course;
An unfamiliar car left running and parked on your street;
A stranger tampering with your neighbor's vehicle;
Noises such as gun shots, alarms, or windows being broken;
Someone shouting "HELP", "FIRE", or "RAPE"
Do not investigate suspicious activity yourself. Let the police do it. They have the training and the skills. Your role is to act as our eyes and ears, and then phone the police department with your information.
Follow these steps when reporting a crime to the police:
Identify yourself (name, address, and phone) and give your location;
Describe what is happening or what you saw happen;
If there is a suspect or vehicle, be able to provide the police dispatcher with a detailed description and the direction of travel;
Be patient. Stay on the line until the police dispatcher's questions have been answered.
Help us help you. Opening your eyes to your surroundings can mean closing your neighborhood to crime.