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

Oregon, with its stunning natural beauty, vibrant cities like Portland and Eugene, and friendly communities, offers a high quality of life. But even in paradise, vigilance is key. Property crime is a reality, and knowing the signs of suspicious activity can help deter criminals and keep your neighborhood safe.

This blog post focuses on Oregon specifically, but many of these tips can be applied anywhere. We’ll discuss common red flags to watch for, what to do if you see something suspicious, and resources available to you.

Living in Oregon, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and friendly faces, it’s easy to feel secure. However, complacency can leave you vulnerable. Property crime is a persistent issue nationwide, and Oregon is no exception. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting, in 2022, Oregon experienced over  2,935 property crimes, including burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.

While these numbers may seem daunting, knowledge is power. By familiarizing yourself with the signs of suspicious activity and taking proactive steps, you can significantly improve the safety of your home and neighborhood.

Suspicious Activity Around Your Home

Your home is your sanctuary, and any activity that makes you feel uneasy deserves attention. Here are some red flags to watch for:

  • People Tampering with Doors or Windows: This is a clear sign of potential criminal intent. If you see someone trying to jiggle doorknobs, peek through windows, or tamper with your locks, especially during off-peak hours, call the police immediately.
  • Unfamiliar People Loitering: While Oregon is known for its friendly residents, be cautious of unfamiliar people lingering near your property, particularly in secluded areas. If their behavior makes you uncomfortable, trust your gut and call the police. Note their appearance, clothing, and any distinguishing features for the police report.
  • Forced Entry Attempts: If you discover signs of forced entry upon returning home, such as broken windows, damaged doors, or pry marks, do not enter. This could indicate a break-in in progress. Call the police from a safe location, like a neighbor’s house, and wait for them to arrive.
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Suspicious Items Around Your Home

Sometimes, suspicious activity can involve unattended objects. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Unattended Packages or Bags: Package theft, especially around the holidays, is a common crime. If you see an unfamiliar package or bag left on your porch or near your home, don’t touch it. Contact the police to report it.
  • Vehicles Parked in Unusual Locations: Unattended vehicles, particularly vans or trucks, parked in unusual locations for extended periods can be suspicious. These vehicles could be used for casing neighborhoods or storing stolen goods. If you see such a vehicle, note the license plate number, vehicle description, and location, and report it to the police. Prioritize your safety over gathering extensive information.

When to Call the Police

If you witness any of the suspicious activities mentioned above, or anything else that makes you feel unsafe, don’t hesitate to call 911. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. The police are trained professionals who can investigate the situation and determine if there’s a threat.

What Information to Gather (If Safe to Do So)

While your safety is paramount, if you can safely gather some details about the suspicious activity, it can be helpful for the police investigation. Here are some things to note, if possible:

  • Description of the people involved: Age, race, gender, height, weight, clothing, and any distinguishing marks like tattoos or scars.
  • Description of any vehicles involved: Make, model, color, license plate number, and any damage.

Importance of Not Confronting Suspects

It’s tempting to confront someone you suspect of criminal activity, but for your safety, it’s crucial to resist this urge. Criminals can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Leave the investigation to the police.

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Additional Safety Tips

Here are some proactive steps you can take to enhance your home security:

  • Home Security Systems: Consider installing a home security system with visible security signs and deterrent features like alarms and motion sensors.
  • Neighborhood Watch Programs: Getting involved in a neighborhood watch program is a fantastic way to build relationships with your neighbors and look out for each other. These programs often organize patrols and share information about suspicious activity.
  • Proper Lighting: Ensure your property is well-lit at night. This deters criminals who prefer to operate in darkness and makes it easier for you to identify suspicious activity.

Resources for Oregon Residents

Here are some resources available to help you stay safe in Oregon:

  • Local Police Department Phone Numbers: Having your local police department’s non-emergency phone number readily available is crucial. Here are some examples:

    • Portland Police Bureau: (503) 823-5PDX (5739)
    • Eugene Police Department: (541) 686-6900
  • Online Crime Reporting Systems: Many Oregon police departments allow online crime reporting for non-emergency situations. This can be a convenient option, especially for documenting suspicious activity that hasn’t resulted in a crime. For instance, the Portland Police Bureau offers an online reporting system


Crime prevention is a community effort. By being aware of your surroundings, reporting suspicious activity, and taking steps to secure your home, you can significantly contribute to a safer neighborhood. Staying informed about local crime trends and familiarizing yourself with resources like neighborhood watch programs and online reporting systems empowers you to be proactive in safeguarding your community.

Remember, a little vigilance goes a long way. By working together, we can make Oregon an even more secure and enjoyable place to live.

Additional Tips

  • Consider adding a closing call to action, encouraging readers to share this blog post with their neighbors and friends.
  • You can tailor this content further by mentioning specific resources available in different Oregon cities beyond Portland and Eugene.

Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional security advice.

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