OCSD Blog Team member Sgt. Nester from Stanton Police Services shares his Top 10 Tips for crimes in progress.
1. Call 911 ASAP (as soon as safely possible)- The sooner you can safely call for police assistance, the higher the probability that the perpetrators of the crime will be caught. Remember to call the Sheriff’s Department first; and then you can call family, store manager, etc. Time is always the critical factor in apprehending suspects of crimes in progress.
2. Direction of Travel – which direction was the suspect last seen heading? Was the suspect on foot, riding a bike, or did they get into a car? Deputies may be able to intercept the suspect attempting to flee the area if we know which way they are heading.
3. Get the Plate – if you had to pick one piece of information that is often the most helpful in solving a crime, it would be the license plate of the car involved. It is true that sometimes the car will be stolen or has an incorrect plate affixed, but this usually isn’t the case. The license plate of the car is a huge lead for Patrol Deputies and Investigators to help solve the crime, even if it is only a partial license plate number.
4. Vehicle Description- We are looking for the approximate year the car was made (or how old you think it may be), the make, model, color, LICENSE PLATE, and anything else that makes the car standout such as: damage to the right quarter panel, very loud exhaust pipes, broken windshield, red racing stripes, etc.
5 Suspect’s Physical Description - What is the suspect’s gender, race, approximate age, approximate height, approximate weight, hair color, eye color, hair length, facial hair, etc. An accurate physical description helps narrow the scope of the search.
6. Clothing Description – Just start from head to toe with what the suspect(s) is wearing. For example: Black baseball cap with “M” on front. White, dirty T-shirt, baggy blue and black plaid shorts, dark socks, and red high top basketball shoes. Remember, the shoes are the hardest thing to take off or change.
7. Specific Details – What made the suspect stand out? For example: Black Oakley dark shaded sunglasses, Air Jordan basketball shoes, a purple T-shirt with silver lettering, long beard with grayish color, walked with a limp, had a heavy east coast accent, facial acne, crooked teeth, etc.
8. Tattoos – A suspect can cover tattoos up but can’t change them. We have had crimes solved recently with a specific tattoo that was clearly seen on the suspect’s hand. If you can recall a specific tattoo color, writing, picture, etc. This is valuable information that can help identify the suspect. Visible scars are also helpful.
9. Known Suspect – where would the suspect likely be heading? Where does the suspect like to hang out or with whom? Where does the suspect work?
10. Don’t Touch – what if you can’t remember anything about the suspect, vehicle, etc? If the suspect was not wearing gloves and touches a specific area or drops an item, do your best not to touch anything (that the suspect touched) as there is a chance we can get fingerprints or other forensic evidence from an item dropped or discarded at the scene of the crime.