Observe and Report

By on March 29, 2012

Observe and report is the mantra of any cheap security guard outfit, but works well for some things we would like to help with but aren’t sure we should get involved.  I still practice it from time to time.

Two days ago I sat outside the gym taking a business call before going in.  Down the street from the gym is a high school so there are always teenagers cutting through on their way to class.  This morning I saw a girl that looked out of place.  At first I didn’t know why, so I looked closer.  She looked 18-20 years old, which is a little too old to be walking to class in this neighborhood.  It’s an upper middle class area and the kids all seem to have cars or friends with cars.  She wasn’t really headed anywhere.  She looked like she was just strolling through the parking lot without any place to be.  After a couple seconds I found out why she was in the parking lot.  She stopped to look in a couple windows as she walked through.  She was looking to steal something out of a car.

I watched her and wrote down notes about what she looked like, where she came from, and where she was going.  Here are some tricks to getting a good description;

  • Sex; should be easy if it’s not, then it’s a great descriptor
  • Age; just a general decade
  • Height; try to think how much taller or shorter the person is then you are.
  • Skin Tone and Ethnicity; Example, it was a white guy with a really good tan, or a black man with really dark skin
  • Then start from the top of the head and go down

The person I saw was a female, late teens, about 5’7”, white with light skin, long brown hair, couldn’t see her eye color, wearing long gold earrings, white and brown top, brown jacket, blue jeans, no belt, brown flat shoes, carrying a big purse white with brown and gold buttons.  She was walking through the parking lot looking into parked cars.  She went into apartment #3… across the street. 

If you can safely, get a picture.  Nothings better for identifying someone then a picture.  Also note things that don’t change a lot on people.  Girls normally carry the same purse a lot, so get a good description of the purse.  Guys now carry clip knives hanging out of a pocket (you should be noticing this just for your safety).  If you see one notice what pocket it’s in and what the clip looks like.  Guys will also wear the same hat over and over again.  Everyone wears the same shoes a lot.

Now that we have all this info, what to do with it?  At least file it away somewhere.  Then if you hear about multiple break-ins in that area I can go to the cops with the info and they can look at the apartment and look for the girl. 

You may also want to call the cops and give them the information.  They may or may not do anything about it, but everything is recorded and logged, and it’s generally those little bits of information that lead to arrests. 

I didn’t call the cops because of past problems with calling police.  They seem to ignore me, but that’s another story.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmond Burke

Stay Safe,


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