Call the Police if You See One of These Outside Your House in Alabama!

Alabama, known for its beautiful beaches, rich history, and Southern hospitality, is a great place to call home. However, just like anywhere else, vigilance is key to maintaining a safe and secure environment. This blog post will serve as a guide for Alabama residents to be aware of suspicious activity and potential threats around their homes.

Suspicious Activity vs. Normal Behavior

Before diving into specific situations, it’s crucial to differentiate between suspicious activity and normal behavior. Not everyone lingering near your house is a criminal. However, prolonged loitering, especially in quiet neighborhoods or near secluded areas, can be a red flag. Here’s how to distinguish the two:

  • Suspicious Activity:

    • Individuals parked across the street, intently watching your house for extended periods (more than 15-20 minutes).
    • People walking back and forth on your street repeatedly, especially if they don’t seem to be going anywhere specific.
    • Individuals trying to force entry into homes or tampering with windows and doors.
    • People attempting to distract homeowners with elaborate stories or fake emergencies.
  • Normal Behavior:

    • Neighbors walking their dogs or jogging in the area.
    • Delivery personnel dropping off packages.
    • Utility workers performing maintenance on lines or meters.

When to Call the Police in Alabama

Here are some specific situations in Alabama that warrant calling the police:

  • Unfamiliar People Loitering: As mentioned earlier, prolonged loitering, especially at night, can be a sign of potential criminal activity. If you see someone lingering near your house for an extended period, especially if they seem nervous or keep glancing around, call the non-emergency number for your local police department.
    • Stat: According to a 2023 report by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, property crime rates are significantly higher in neighborhoods with lower vacancy rates. This highlights the importance of community awareness and vigilance.
  • People Behaving Erratically: Individuals yelling incoherently, exhibiting public intoxication, or vandalizing property are a cause for concern. This behavior can be unpredictable and pose a threat to yourself and others.
    • Fact: The Alabama Alcohol Control Board offers resources and programs to combat underage drinking and public intoxication.
  • Open Doors or Windows: If you discover an open door or window in your house when you weren’t expecting it, don’t enter. It could be a sign of a break-in in progress. Call the police immediately from a safe location, like a neighbor’s house.
  • Unattended Packages: Alabama has seen a rise in porch piracy, where thieves steal packages delivered to homes. If you see an unattended package on your porch, especially if you weren’t expecting one, avoid touching it. There’s a possibility it could contain explosives or other harmful substances. Maintain a safe distance and call the police to report it.
  • Forced Entry Attempts: If you hear noises coming from your house that sound like forced entry, such as breaking glass or loud banging, don’t hesitate. Call 911 immediately and evacuate the premises if possible.

What to Do if You See Something Suspicious

Here are some crucial steps to take if you witness suspicious activity around your house:

  • Prioritize Your Safety: This is the most important aspect. Don’t confront the suspicious person or attempt to be a hero.
  • Observe from a Safe Distance: If possible, try to get a good description of the suspect(s), including their clothing, height, weight, and any distinguishing features like tattoos or piercings. Note the make, model, and license plate number of any vehicles involved. However, prioritize your safety over getting every detail.
  • Call 911 (For Emergencies) or Non-Emergency Number: If you witness a crime in progress or feel your safety is at immediate risk, call 911. For non-emergency situations, report the suspicious activity to your local police department’s non-emergency number.
  • Document Everything: If it’s safe to do so, take pictures or videos of the suspicious person or activity from a safe distance. This can be helpful evidence for the police.
  • Inform Your Neighbors: Let your neighbors know what happened and encourage them to be vigilant as well. A strong sense of community watch can significantly deter criminal activity.

Additional Tips for Alabama Residents

Here are some additional proactive steps you can take to enhance the security of your Alabama home:

  • Get to Know Your Neighbors: Building relationships with your neighbors fosters a sense of community and allows you to look out for each other.
  • Install a Security System: Consider installing a home security system with visible cameras and alarms. These systems can deter potential burglars and provide valuable footage to the police in case of a break-in.
  • Keep Landscaping Manageable: Trim overgrown bushes and trees around your windows and doors to eliminate hiding spots for potential intruders.
  • Secure Doors and Windows: Ensure all doors and windows have strong locks and deadbolts. Consider reinforcing vulnerable entry points like basement doors and first-floor windows.
  • Proper Lighting: Install bright motion-sensor lights around your property. A well-lit exterior discourages evening break-ins.
  • Be Mindful of Social Media: Avoid posting detailed information about your vacations or absences from home on social media platforms. This can alert potential criminals to an empty house.
  • Invest in a Safe: Keep valuables like jewelry, important documents, and cash in a secure safe.

Specific Regional Threats in Alabama

Alabama is a geographically diverse state, and security concerns can vary depending on the region. Here’s a brief look at some potential threats in different areas:

  • Urban Areas (Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile): Property crimes like burglary and theft are more prevalent in densely populated areas. Be extra vigilant about securing your belongings and remaining aware of your surroundings.
  • Suburban Areas (Huntsville, Auburn, Tuscaloosa): While generally safer than urban areas, suburban neighborhoods can still experience break-ins and package thefts. Neighborhood watch programs are particularly effective in these areas.
  • Rural Areas: While property crime rates might be lower in rural areas, isolation can pose a different set of challenges. Ensure you have a reliable phone connection and consider investing in a generator in case of power outages.

Resources for Alabama Residents

Here are some helpful resources for Alabama residents to stay informed and prepared:

  • Alabama Bureau of Investigation: (Provides crime statistics, safety resources, and crime reporting information)
  • Alabama Law Enforcement Agency: (Offers a variety of resources, including neighborhood watch program guides and active shooter response training)
  • Local Police Department Websites: Most Alabama cities and counties have their own police department websites with contact information, crime alerts, and online reporting options.


By following these tips and staying informed about potential threats, Alabama residents can significantly enhance the security of their homes and neighborhoods. Remember, vigilance and a sense of community are powerful deterrents against crime. Don’t hesitate to report any suspicious activity to the police. By working together, we can make Alabama a safer place for everyone.

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