Suspicious People/Cars

What should I do if I see a strange person or car loitering in my neighborhood?

Having residents report strange, suspicious or out of place activity in their neighborhoods is essential to locating identifying and stopping criminal activity. There may be a reasonable and legal explanation for the person’s presence and actions. However, if the person’s actions are enough to raise your suspicion there is probably a good reason to take further action.

There are several things that you can do to help us in these cases. The most important thing to remember is to not put yourself at danger by taking action yourself. The best thing you can do is watch the person, car and activity and note a full description of all three.

When you call the police you may use either the Emergency, 911, line or the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321 depending on the circumstances. If the person or activity appears to you to be an immediate threat to someone or something you can call 911. If the person, car or activity just appears suspicious or out of place use the non emergency, direct line, (831) 758-7321, option 2.

When you call be prepared to give the dispatcher your name, address, phone number and a description of the people and cars involved. The dispatcher may want to keep you on the telephone while an officer or officers are dispatched. This will enable the dispatcher to update the officers who are responding.

If the dispatcher does not stay on the telephone be sure to call back and update the dispatcher if the person or car leaves or something happens that indicates what exactly is occurring. If the person does leave make sure you are able to provide the dispatcher a direction of travel.

Remember, the suspicious activity that you witness may be totally innocent and explainable, however without taking the time to call and report the activity there may be no way of telling if it is, or if it is criminal activity that warrants police action.

Should I call the police to report a door to door salesperson?

Door to door solicitors fall into two categories. The first are those with nonprofit groups, such as youth groups or churches. These individuals carry identification and some documentation showing what group they are with. Door to door sales people should have a City business license and identification.The Salinas Municipal Code  regulates solicitors by prohibiting them from littering, knocking on doors after 9:00 p.m. and other things.

If someone comes to your door you may want to request identification and other documents If they are unable or unwilling to provide any documents you should immediately be wary of them.

If you feel that their actions are suspicious, or disturbing your peace, you may call the police in the same manner as listed above. Make sure that you note the direction the individual is walking and provide it to the dispatcher.