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

Ohio, known as the Buckeye State, is home to bustling cities, charming small towns, and a rich history that reflects the heart of America. However, like any other state, Ohio faces its share of crime and safety challenges. Home safety is a top priority for residents, as being aware of potential threats can make all the difference in preventing crime. This article aims to educate Ohioans about common signs of suspicious activity and what steps to take if they encounter these threats outside their homes.

Common Threats to Watch For

Suspicious Vehicles

One of the first signs of potential trouble is the presence of suspicious vehicles in your neighborhood. These vehicles might be parked in unusual spots, move slowly through the area, or remain parked for extended periods without a clear purpose. Pay attention to vehicles with out-of-state plates, dark tinted windows, or those that appear to be surveilling homes.

Unfamiliar Persons Loitering

Strangers loitering around residential areas without a clear reason can be cause for concern. Watch for individuals who appear to be watching houses, taking notes or pictures, or behaving in a manner that doesn’t align with typical pedestrian activity. This could include walking back and forth repeatedly or trying to peer into homes.

Strange Packages or Items

Unexpected packages, bags, or items left near your home can also signal danger. These could potentially be used to hide surveillance equipment or even be a part of a criminal scheme. If you notice any unusual objects near your property, it’s crucial to approach with caution and report it to the authorities.

Unmarked Utility Workers

Utility workers are a common sight in residential neighborhoods, but it’s important to be cautious if you encounter workers who are not in marked vehicles or proper uniforms. Criminals sometimes pose as utility workers to gain access to homes or gather information about the neighborhood.

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City-Specific Alerts


Cleveland, the largest city on Lake Erie, has seen its share of crime. In recent years, the city has reported an increase in property crimes, including burglary and vehicle theft. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, Cleveland’s property crime rate is significantly higher than the national average. Notable incidents include a string of burglaries in the Tremont neighborhood and an increase in car thefts in the Ohio City area.


As the state capital and largest city in Ohio, Columbus has a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own crime challenges. The Columbus Division of Police reports that property crimes, including larceny and burglary, are a major concern. In neighborhoods like Short North and German Village, there have been multiple reports of break-ins and thefts. The city has implemented several community policing initiatives to address these issues, but residents are encouraged to remain vigilant.


Cincinnati, known for its historic architecture and vibrant cultural scene, also faces significant crime challenges. The Cincinnati Police Department’s latest crime report indicates that theft and burglary rates are above the national average. Areas such as Over-the-Rhine and West End have been hotspots for property crimes. In one notable incident, a series of home invasions in the Hyde Park neighborhood prompted increased patrols and community awareness campaigns.


Dayton has a relatively high crime rate compared to other Ohio cities of its size. The Dayton Police Department has highlighted property crimes, particularly burglary and vehicle theft, as persistent issues. Recent statistics show a spike in these crimes in neighborhoods like Oregon District and South Park. The city has responded with increased community policing efforts, but residents are advised to report any suspicious activities promptly.

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Akron, known for its rubber industry heritage, has struggled with crime in recent years. Property crimes, including burglary and theft, are a major concern in several neighborhoods. The Akron Police Department has identified areas such as North Hill and Kenmore as hotspots for these types of crimes. In response, the city has launched initiatives to improve community engagement and crime reporting.

Steps to Take When You Notice Suspicious Activity

Contacting Local Law Enforcement

If you notice any suspicious activity, the first step is to contact local law enforcement. Most Ohio cities have dedicated non-emergency numbers that you can call to report suspicious behavior without tying up emergency lines. Providing detailed information about the suspicious activity, including descriptions of individuals and vehicles, can help the police respond more effectively.

Neighborhood Watch Programs

Many Ohio communities have established neighborhood watch programs. These programs encourage residents to work together to monitor and report suspicious activity. Joining or starting a neighborhood watch can significantly enhance the safety of your community. These groups often work closely with local law enforcement to share information and coordinate efforts.

Using Home Security Systems

Investing in a home security system can be a powerful deterrent against crime. Modern systems often include features such as cameras, motion detectors, and remote monitoring. Posting signs indicating that your home is protected by a security system can also discourage potential criminals. Additionally, many systems allow you to monitor your home in real time and receive alerts if suspicious activity is detected.

Personal Safety Tips

Beyond technology, there are several personal safety practices that can help protect your home. Always lock doors and windows, even when you are at home. Ensure that your property is well-lit, particularly entry points. Consider installing motion-sensor lights and keeping bushes and trees trimmed to eliminate hiding spots. Being aware of your surroundings and knowing your neighbors can also help create a safer environment.

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Community Involvement and Resources

Importance of Community Vigilance

Community vigilance is crucial in preventing and responding to crime. By staying alert and working together, residents can create a safer environment for everyone. Regular community meetings, online forums, and social media groups can be effective platforms for sharing information and coordinating efforts.

Resources Available for Crime Prevention

Several resources are available to Ohio residents for crime prevention and safety. Local police departments often offer crime prevention tips and resources on their websites. The Ohio Department of Public Safety also provides valuable information and tools for residents. Additionally, organizations such as Crime Stoppers allow individuals to report crimes anonymously and offer rewards for information leading to arrests.

How to Report Suspicious Activity Anonymously

If you prefer to report suspicious activity anonymously, services like Crime Stoppers can be a valuable resource. By calling the Crime Stoppers hotline or submitting a tip online, you can provide information without revealing your identity. This can be particularly useful if you are concerned about retaliation or if you prefer to remain discreet.


Home safety is a shared responsibility that requires the vigilance and cooperation of all residents. By being aware of common signs of suspicious activity and knowing how to respond, you can help protect your home and community. Remember to stay informed, use available resources, and work together with your neighbors to create a safer environment. Your awareness and action can make a significant difference in preventing crime and ensuring the safety of your loved ones. Stay vigilant, Ohio!

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MBS Staff
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