Q. We’ve recently noticed suspicious activity in our neighborhood. How do we go about getting the police to patrol our neighborhood more?

When you observe suspicious activity, call 911 to report your observations, and an officer will respond to investigate. Make a record of your observations. Write down descriptions of persons, cars or trucks along with license numbers or other descriptive features. Even if the suspicious persons have left the location prior to the officers’ arrival, this information could be beneficial to our detectives if a crime was committed in the immediate area.

Criminals will usually park or have an accomplice wait in a car a short distance from the targeted home or business. They will approach on foot, commit the offense and return to their car. An observant neighbor getting a license number on a suspicious car parked in the neighborhood could be the tip we need to solve a crime.

If you have recurring crime or traffic problems that need police action contact the Interactive Community Policing Unit (ICP) at your Division Station (214-670-4420), and we will provide the assistance you need for your situation.

Q. Approximately a year and a half ago, our house was burglarized. We suspect some workers hired by our contractor might have done it. What are some tips to prevent something like this from happening?

Any time you allow workers inside your home to make repairs or remodel, you increase your risk of becoming a crime victim. This opportunity gives dishonest people a chance to check out the layout of your home, your security protection and the locations of your valuables.

To reduce your risk, I would suggest that you choose a reputable company, preferably one that a family member or friend has used and recommends. When getting an estimate for the work, ask about how they screen their employees and if they do background checks. Prior to the arrival of workers, conceal or remove your most expensive or treasured property.

If the work is a long-term project, you may want to rent storage space or put jewelry in a safe deposit box. If they do not see anything worth coming back for, they’ll look for another target. Do not leave workers alone inside your home. Make sure someone stays with them to keep them from roaming around your home.

In addition, in the event you are burglarized, keep an itemized inventory of your property and serial numbers to give to the police and insurance carriers. This will help the police to identify your property and could help to identify the offender.

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