Being a good witness can be one of the most helpful things you can do to assist the police department in reducing crime. Gathering useful information on a crime you observe is very important but your personal safety is even more important. We don’t recommend you intervene in a criminal act if it means putting yourself in harm’s way. Property can be replaced, you can’t. It takes time for police officers to respond and their level of response depends on what type of crime is occurring or has occurred. Collect as much of the below information on the crime from a distance, and immediately call 911 to report the criminal activity.
Sex – Male, Female.
Race – Ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific-Islander, etc.)
Height – Sometimes it is hard to see a height. If possible, use a vertical object to compare. We can later look at this object and determine a height.
Weight/Build – Slim, Heavy, Muscular, etc.
Hair – Color and style of hair (blond, brown etc. and short, long, curly etc.)
Facial Features – clean shaven, mustache, beard, etc.
Clothing description – type and color of shirt (short sleeve, long sleeve, striped solid, etc.) and pants (jeans, long shorts, etc.)
Any other characteristics or distinguishing features of the subject (accent, tattoos, scars, glasses, etc.)
Vehicle Make- Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge
Model – Mustang, Impala, etc.
Vehicle Style – 2 door, 4 door, wagon, hatchback, SUV, pickup
Vehicle License Plate (State)
Any identifiable marks (vehicle body damage possibly from old car accident), bumper stickers, custom rims, spoiler, etc.
If the vehicle leaves, get the direction of travel
Weapons involved: This would be very important for officer safety if known/observed by witness
Method of entry to the vehicle/residence/structure
Item used to commit the crime that may still be in their possession: Pry bar, baseball bat, etc
Items removed from the vehicle/residence/structure
Items still in their possession that would be evidence: Computers, Televisions, Radio, GPS, etc