City of Tahlequah, OK 111 S Cherokee
Tahlequah, OK 74464
Phone: (918) 456-0651
Fax: (918) 458-9589
Mayor Jason Nichols Mayor Jason Nichols
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What Neighborhood Watch Members Look For

Recognizing Suspicious Activity

    BE ALERT! Anything that seems slightly "out of place" or is occurring at an unusual time of day could be criminal activity.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO APPREHEND A PERSON COMMITING A CRIME OR INVESTIGATE A SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.  Call the Police Department immediately, and do not worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove to be unfounded.  Law enforcement officers would rather investigate than be called when it was too late.

    The following incidents may indicate possible criminal activity and should be reported:

  • Continuous repair operations at a non-business location (stolen property being altered)
  • Open or broken doors and windows at a closed business or unoccupied residence (burglary or vandalism)
  • Unusual noises, such as gunshots, screaming, or dogs barking continuously (burglary, assault, or rape)
  • Sound of breaking glass (burglary or vandalism)
  • A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms (person may be injured, under the influence of drugs, or otherwise needing medical attention)

    Time and accuracy are critical in reporting crime or suspicious events.  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 crimes that have already occurred.  Your call could save a life, prevent an injury, or stop a crime.  You do not need to give your name, although this is often helpful.

Suspicious Persons

    Obviously, not every stranger who comes into a neighborhood is a criminal.  Legitimate door-to-door sales and repair people appear in residential areas frequently.  Occasionally, however, criminals disguise themselves as these workers; therefore, it is important to be alert to the activities of all non-residents.  Law enforcement officials should be called to investigate persons in the following circumstances, who may be suspects in the crimes indicated:

  • Going door to door in a residential area, especially if one or more goes to the rear of the residence or loiters in front of a unoccupied house or closed business (burglary)
  • Forcing entrance or entering an unoccupied house (burglary, theft, or trespassing)
  • Running, especially if carrying something of value or carrying unwrapped property at an unusual hour (fleeing the scene of a crime)
  • Heavy traffic to and from a residence, particularly if it occurs on a daily basis (drug dealing, vice or fence operation)
  • Screaming (rape or assault)
  • Loitering around or peering into cars, especially in parking lots or on streets (car theft)
  • Loitering around schools, parks or secluded areas (sex offenders)
  • Offering items for sale at a very low price (trying to sell stolen property)
  • Loitering or driving through a neighborhood several times or appearing as delivery person with a wrong address (burglary)

Suspicious Vehicles

    Vehicles in the following situations may be involved in crimes and should be reported to authorities:

  • Slow moving, without lights, following aimless course in any location, including residential streets, schools, and playgrounds (burglary, drug pusher, or sex offender)
  • Parked or occupied, containing one or more persons, especially at an unusual hour (lookouts for a burglary or robbery)
  • Parked by a business or unoccupied residence, being loaded with valuables (burglary or theft)
  • Abandoned in your neighborhood (stolen car)
  • Containing weapons (criminal activity)
  • Someone, especially a female or juvenile, being forced into a vehicle (kidnapping, assault, or attempted rape)
  • Business transactions taking place in it, especially around schools or parks (sale of stolen items or drugs)
  • Persons detaching mechanical parts or accessories from it (theft or vandalism)
  • Objects being thrown from it (disposing of contraband)

Describing and Reporting of Events, Vehicles and Persons

    Practicing to develop skill in providing quick, accurate descriptions is an excellent Neighborhood Watch meeting activity.  In attempting to describe events, vehicles, or persons, write down the details of what you have observed while they are still fresh in your mind, so your descriptions to law officials will be as accurate as possible.

Describing Vehicles

    When describing vehicles, write down:

  • Vehicle license number and state, make and type of vehicle, color, and approximate age
  • Special designs or unusual features, such as vinyl top, mag wheels, body damage, pinstripes, etc.
  • Direction of travel

Describing 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
  • Hair (color and length
  • Hat
  • Facial Hair (beard/mustache)
  • Shirt/Tie
  • Coat/Jacket
  • Pants
  • Shoes
  • Any peculiar or distinguishable mannerisms, physical disabilities, disfigurations, scars or tattoos
  • Voice Characteristics
  • Direction of Movement