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SPD Home / Contacts & Services / Reporting Crime / Suspicious Activity

Recognizing suspicious activity

Abandoned Car

Abandoned Vehicles are suspicious. You can check to see if they are stolen or report them to SPD to be removed.


  • Slow moving vehicles, vehicles without lights, and/or the course followed appears aimless or repetitive. This is suspicious in any location, but particularly in areas of schools, parks, and playgrounds.

  • Vehicles being loaded with valuables are suspicious if parked in front of a closed business or untended residence, even if the vehicle is a legitimate looking commercial unit - possibly even bearing a sign identifying it as a repair vehicle, moving van, etc.

  • Abandoned Vehicles


  • Persons attempting forcibly to enter a locked vehicle, especially at night or in a parking lot.

  • Persons detaching mechanical parts or accessories from a vehicle especially at night or in a parking lot.

  • Apparent business transactions conducted from a vehicle especially if around schools or parks, and if juveniles are involved.

  • Persons being forced into vehicles, especially if juveniles or females.

  • Objects thrown from a vehicle, especially while traveling at a high speed.


  • Property carried by persons on foot, especially questionable if the person is running. May be significant if the property is not wrapped as if just purchased.

  • Property being removed from or being placed into vehicles or buildings if removed from closed residences whose owners are known to be absent.

  • Someone offers to sell you something for significantly less than the market value.

  • Items that accumulate in private garages, storage areas, or on property if it accumulates, especially if the items are in good condition but not in use. Example: A number of televisions sets being stored in a garage for a long period of time.


  • Someone going door-to-door in a residential area if after a few houses are visited, one or more of the subjects goes into a back or side yard. More suspicious if another remains in the front when this occurs.

  • Someone waiting in front of a house or business when the owners are absent, or if it is a business and the establishment is closed.

  • Someone forcing entrance to or tampering with a residence, business, vehicle, etc.

  • A non-resident going into a back or side yard.

  • A person running especially if something of value is being carried.


  • Continuous "Repair" operations at a non-business location.

  • Open or broken windows at closed businesses or residences whose owners are temporarily absent.

  • Unusual noises such as gunshots, screaming, abnormally barking dogs, or any noise that is suggestive of foul play.

  • Unusual smells coming from location.

  • Continuous traffic that comes and goes to the same location, usually staying for very short periods of time.

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Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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