Not every stranger who comes into your neighborhood is a criminal by any means. There are many perfectly legitimate door-to-door salesmen, repairmen, and servicemen moving around our neighborhood all the time. But criminals do take advantage of this by taking the guise of legitimate business representatives. After all, if a criminal looked like a criminal, no one would have any trouble spotting him. But, if you see:

· Someone 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 the front when this occurs, or if there is a car following, a few houses away. Call the police immediately; do not wait for the person to leave.

· Someone is waiting in front of a house or business if the owners are absent or... if it's a business... and the business is closed. This might be a lookout for a burglary in progress inside.

· Anyone forcing entrance to or tampering with a residence, business or vehicle.

· A person running, especially if carrying something of value.

· Someone carrying property, if it's at an unusual hour or in an unusual place, or if the property is not wrapped as if just purchased.

· A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms may be injured, under the influence of drugs or otherwise needing medical or psychiatric assistance.

· Many people going 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. It could possibly be the scene of drugs and vice activities or a "fence" operation.

Source: National Crime Prevention Council