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

In North Carolina, as in many other states, community safety is a shared responsibility. Being aware of your surroundings and recognizing suspicious activities can significantly impact the safety and security of your neighborhood. This article explores the importance of vigilance, the common suspicious activities you should be aware of, and what steps to take if you see something unusual in your community.

North Carolina, with its diverse population and vibrant cities, unfortunately, experiences its share of criminal activities. From urban centers like Charlotte and Raleigh to smaller towns, the state’s crime rates highlight the need for residents to be vigilant. Understanding the types of suspicious activities that may signal potential crimes can help you protect yourself and your community.

Common Suspicious Activities in North Carolina

Definition of Suspicious Activities

Suspicious activities are behaviors or actions that are out of place, abnormal, or indicate that something illegal might be happening. While not every unusual behavior is a crime, certain actions should raise red flags and prompt you to take notice.

Common Signs to Watch For

  • Strangers Loitering: Individuals hanging around without a clear purpose, especially near homes, schools, or businesses.
  • Unfamiliar Vehicles: Cars or trucks parked in your neighborhood for extended periods without any apparent reason.
  • Odd Behaviors: People peering into windows, trying door handles, or acting nervously.
  • Unattended Items: Bags, packages, or other items left unattended in unusual places.

Importance of Community Awareness

Community awareness plays a crucial role in preventing crime. When residents are vigilant and report suspicious activities, it deters potential criminals and helps law enforcement respond more effectively. By knowing what to look for and understanding the importance of reporting, you contribute to a safer environment for everyone.

Cities with High Crime Rates in North Carolina

Overview of Crime Statistics in Major Cities

North Carolina’s crime statistics vary widely across its cities. Urban areas tend to have higher crime rates, but even smaller towns are not immune to criminal activities. According to the latest data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, some cities in North Carolina have notably high crime rates.

Detailed Look at Crime Rates in Key Cities


As the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte has a significant crime rate. In recent years, the city has seen a rise in violent crimes, including homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Property crimes, such as burglaries and vehicle thefts, are also prevalent.

  • Violent Crime Rate: 8.7 per 1,000 residents
  • Property Crime Rate: 34.2 per 1,000 residents
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Fayetteville, home to a large military population, also experiences high crime rates. The city’s crime issues are often linked to its transient population and economic challenges.

  • Violent Crime Rate: 9.3 per 1,000 residents
  • Property Crime Rate: 31.4 per 1,000 residents


Durham has made headlines for its efforts to reduce crime, but challenges remain. The city struggles with gang violence and drug-related crimes, which contribute to its higher crime rates.

  • Violent Crime Rate: 7.8 per 1,000 residents
  • Property Crime Rate: 27.6 per 1,000 residents


Winston-Salem’s crime rates are slightly lower than those of other major cities in the state, but it still faces significant issues with violent and property crimes.

  • Violent Crime Rate: 7.2 per 1,000 residents
  • Property Crime Rate: 26.8 per 1,000 residents

Specific Suspicious Activities Reported in These Cities

In cities like Charlotte and Durham, reports of suspicious activities often include strangers attempting to enter homes, unfamiliar vehicles parked for long periods, and individuals acting nervously near schools and businesses. Being aware of these activities and reporting them promptly can help prevent crimes.

Types of Suspicious Activities to Report

Individuals Lingering or Behaving Oddly

If you notice individuals lingering around homes, schools, or businesses without a clear purpose, it’s worth paying attention. This behavior can indicate potential criminal intentions, such as casing a property for a future break-in.

Unfamiliar Vehicles Parked in Your Neighborhood

Vehicles that you don’t recognize parked for extended periods or frequently appearing in your neighborhood can be a sign of someone scoping out the area. Take note of the vehicle’s make, model, color, and license plate number if possible.

Attempts to Enter Homes or Vehicles

People trying door handles, peering into windows, or attempting to enter homes or vehicles should be reported immediately. These actions are clear indicators of potential criminal activity.

Suspicious Packages or Items Left Unattended

Unattended packages or items left in unusual places, such as outside homes or businesses, can pose significant risks. Report these items to the authorities and avoid handling them yourself.

Case Studies: Real Incidents in North Carolina

Notable Cases Where Vigilance Prevented Crime

In Charlotte, a neighborhood watch group noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near several homes. They reported it to the police, who discovered that the vehicle was stolen and linked to a series of burglaries. The prompt reporting by vigilant neighbors helped prevent further crimes.

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Analysis of Incidents Where Lack of Reporting Led to Crimes

In Fayetteville, a series of home invasions occurred in a neighborhood where residents had noticed unfamiliar individuals loitering but did not report their suspicions. The delay in reporting allowed the criminals to continue their activities until they were eventually caught. This case highlights the importance of reporting suspicious activities promptly.

How to Report Suspicious Activities

Steps to Take When You Notice Something Suspicious

  1. Observe and Take Notes: Carefully observe the suspicious activity and take notes. Include details like the time, location, descriptions of individuals, and any vehicles involved.
  2. Do Not Confront: Avoid confronting the individuals involved. Your safety is the priority.
  3. Contact Authorities: Call your local police department or emergency services. Provide them with the detailed information you have gathered.

Information to Provide When Calling the Police

When reporting suspicious activities, provide as much detail as possible:

  • Description of Individuals: Physical appearance, clothing, and any distinctive features.
  • Vehicle Details: Make, model, color, license plate number, and any identifying marks.
  • Behavior: Describe the suspicious behavior and why it seemed unusual.
  • Location and Time: Exact location and time of the incident.

Importance of Detailed and Accurate Reporting

Accurate and detailed reporting helps law enforcement respond more effectively. It provides them with the information needed to assess the situation and take appropriate action. Incomplete or vague reports can delay the response and reduce the chances of preventing a crime.

Community Programs and Resources

Neighborhood Watch Programs

Neighborhood watch programs are an excellent way to enhance community safety. These programs encourage residents to work together, stay informed about local activities, and report suspicious behavior.

  • Benefits: Increased vigilance, stronger community bonds, and better communication with law enforcement.
  • Getting Involved: Contact your local police department to learn about existing programs or how to start one in your neighborhood.

Community Policing Initiatives

Community policing initiatives aim to build stronger relationships between law enforcement and residents. These programs focus on collaboration, problem-solving, and proactive measures to prevent crime.

  • Examples: Community meetings, police officers assigned to specific neighborhoods, and collaborative events.
  • Impact: Improved trust, reduced crime rates, and more effective policing.
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Resources for Staying Informed and Involved

Staying informed about local crime trends and resources can help you stay vigilant and prepared. Consider the following resources:

  • Local News: Regularly check local news outlets for crime reports and updates.
  • Crime Mapping Tools: Online tools that provide real-time information about crime in your area.
  • Social Media: Follow your local police department and community groups on social media for updates and alerts.


Vigilance and community involvement are crucial for maintaining safety in North Carolina. By understanding what constitutes suspicious activity and knowing how to report it, you can play a vital role in preventing crime and protecting your neighborhood. Remember, if you see something unusual or concerning, don’t hesitate to report it to the authorities. Prompt reporting not only helps prevent crimes but also enhances the overall safety and security of your community.

North Carolina, like many states, faces challenges with crime in its urban centers and beyond. Cities such as Charlotte, Fayetteville, Durham, and Winston-Salem have varying crime rates, reflecting different community dynamics and law enforcement efforts. Being aware of common suspicious activities, understanding local crime statistics, and actively participating in community safety initiatives are essential steps towards fostering a safer environment for all residents.

As you navigate your daily life in North Carolina, remain vigilant and proactive. Take note of any behaviors or situations that seem out of place and trust your instincts. By working together with your neighbors and local law enforcement, you can help ensure that North Carolina continues to be a place where communities thrive and residents feel safe.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the safety of our communities depends on each of us playing an active role. By educating ourselves about suspicious activities, knowing how to report them, and participating in community safety programs, we contribute to a safer North Carolina. Remember, if you see something suspicious, don’t hesitate to call the police. Your actions can make a difference in preventing crime and protecting our neighborhoods.

Stay informed, stay vigilant, and together, we can help keep North Carolina safe for everyone.

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MBS Staff
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