By Joe McIntyre
Bayfield Marshal's Office
"Am I witnessing a crime?" Most of us have found ourselves wondering this at some point or another.
However, because we're not really sure, we tend to ignore what we have just seen and, hoping it wasn't so, we continue about our business.
People aren't suspicious, behavior is! Always consider the context for what you are witnessing and remember there may be a simple explanation for activity that at first glance appears suspicious. Here are behaviors that may be associated with criminal activity:
Someone walking down the street looking into multiple vehicles and/or trying door handles to see if the doors will open.Someone taking a package from someone else's property (keep in mind that sometimes neighbors leave or pick up packages for other neighbors). A person who is not your neighbor walking about your neighbor's home and looking into windows, or trying to gain access by forcing open a window or door. A person knocking on your door and asking to speak with someone who does not live there and who may also go to other homes knocking on doors. This is a tactic used by people with the intent to burglarize to see if people are home. (Keep in mind that people may mistakenly go to the wrong home.) Someone claiming to represent a utility company who is either not wearing a uniform, does not produce identification upon request, or does not have a company logo vehicle. Someone using binoculars or other devices to peer into your or your neighbors' homes. At night, a person sitting inside a vehicle that you do not recognize with the lights off for extended period of time. A pushy salesperson not producing identification upon your request or asking to come into your home.A vehicle you do not recognize that is circling multiple times around the neighborhood. Remember, if you think that a crime may be occurring, or that the safety of you or your neighbors may be at risk, don't hesitate to call 911. You shouldn't worry about using up police time. Calls to 911 will be prioritized based on availability of law enforcement. Your call could be the one that lets us put a stop to the break-ins or a crime streak in your neighborhood. We are happy to check things out!
Joe McIntyre is the Bayfield Marshal.