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Obtain Details About the Suspect

In This Section
What is Neighborhood Watch? | How Neighborhood Watch Operates | What You Can Do | Other Neighborhood Watch Activities | Observation | Suspicious Activities | Obtain Details About the Suspect | Describing the Vehicle | Calling the Police | Dialing 911

How to Get a Good Description of a Suspect

It is important  that Neighborhood Watchers be able to give the police the most accurate description of the suspicious person as possible.

DescriptionTo help call the 10 most important things to notice about the suspect’s description, memorize this simple sentence: “Neighbors Should Always Remember We Have Had Enough Criminal Madness. Just associate the first letter of each word in the sentence to the feature of the suspect you are remembering.”

Neighbors Name
Should Sex
Always Age
Remember   Race
We Weight
Have Height
Had Hair
Enough Eyes
Criminal Clothes
Madness Marks

Try to obtain the following detailed information about each suspect:

Name: If you hear the suspect’s name, try to remember it. Also, any other kinds of information about the suspect such as: nickname(s), where he/she lives, hangouts, place and kind of employment, any other information that would help identify and locate the suspect.

Sex: Although this might seem obvious, today there are many cases in which a suspect disguises him/ herself to appear as the opposite gender so the real identity will not be known.

Race: You should note and remember the nationality or origin of the suspects by accent, dress, behavior, or mannerisms.

Height: Try to make the best estimation of the suspect’s height by comparing him to your own height or that of someone you know. For example, the suspect is shorter, about the same height, or taller than I am. Another way is to estimate the height compared to the height of a nearby stationary object. For example, the suspect's head was just below the height of the red van he was standing next to.

Age: Determining the age with any kind of real accuracy is very difficult. Just make the best general determination you can, such as kid, teenager, young adult, mid-20s, middle aged, senior, etc.

Hair: Observe and describe the following characteristics of the suspect’s hair. What is the color? Is it long or short? What hairstyle or which side is it parted on? Straight, wavy, curly? Do you think the suspect may be wearing a wig? Is the suspect bald? If so, what part of the head. Be sure to include any facial hard. Beard, goatee, mustache? Is the suspect wearing a hat, cap, scarf, or headband? Try to describe it.

Eyes: The color of the suspect’s eyes and other characteristics of the eyes like a “black eye,” watery or bloodshot eyes, patch over one eye, etc. Was the suspect wearing eyeglasses, sunglasses, or contact lenses? (Some contact lenses change the eye color.)

Clothes: What is the color, type, style, condition (old, new, torn, bloodstained, etc.) of the suspect’s pants, shirt, dress, coat, jacket, etc.? Was the suspect wearing any jewelry or other recognizable things?

Marks: Does the suspect have any marks such as tattoos, scars, or deformities? And if so, in what specific location (i.e., the suspect has a tattoo of a heart with an arrow through it on his left forearm)? Are there other physical characteristics such as a limp or unusual posture that would contribute to the description of the suspect?