Q: We are constantly being reminded to be aware of our surroundings and know what is going on around us. It is also suggested that if we see suspicious people or activities, we should report them. I’m not sure I know what a suspicious person looks like. Do you? A: There is no particular description of a suspicious person. Generally, anyone who seems out of place for an area, time of day or an event could be considered suspicious. His or her presence might indicate present or future criminal activity. An unknown person entering a neighbor’s back or side yard or peering into windows would appear to be out of place. The occupant of a parked vehicle watching a house or business could be a lookout for criminal activity in progress. Also, vehicles slowly cruising through a neighborhood could be casing the area for future burglaries. A door-to-door solicitor might be someone trying to see if the residents are home. While we have always been told to ignore such knocks on the door, we are now being advised to ask, always through a locked door, who is it and what they want. An unanswered knock could result in a break-in attempt. Abandoned vehicles might have been stolen, while those parked in remote areas could be connected to drug or alcohol use. A person switching vehicles, especially in a public place, might be dumping a stolen vehicle or one used while committing a crime. Although some suspicious situations could result in innocent explanations, you should still report what you think might be criminal activity. If you hear unusual noises such explosions, gunshots, screaming or fighting, report the disturbance immediately. When you report suspicious activity, do your best to describe what happened, where and when it happened, and whether anyone was injured. If a vehicle is involved, include a description and, if possible, the license number. It is also helpful to report how many people were in the vehicle and whether they were male or female. If you saw the vehicle leave a scene, noting the direction of travel would be helpful. When reporting a suspicious person, describe the clothing worn and any notable characteristics such as glasses, beard, jewelry, scars or tattoos. Again, if the person has left the scene, report the directions of travel and mode of transportation, if you have that information. Quick reporting often helps save a life or deter a crime. Caregiver University The following 4-6:30 p.m. sessions are planned at Senior Concerns Day Care Center, 401 Hodencamp Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 497-0189 for information or to make reservations. Tuesday: “Caring for a Loved One With Traumatic Brain Injury” Oct. 10: “The 10 Signs Your Aging Loved One Needs Help” Oct. 17: “How to Have ‘The Talk’ With Aging Parents.” Medicare seminars The following sessions are planned on Medicare and Part D plans in 2014 and Covered California: Friday: 10 a.m., Fillmore Senior Center, 533 Santa Clara St., Fillmore. Call 524-4533 for more information. Sept. 27: 11 a.m., South Oxnard Senior Center, 200 E. Bard Road, Oxnard. Call 477-7310 for more information. Sept. 27: 1:30-3 p.m., Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 381-2744 for more information. Thursday: 1 p.m., Covered California overview, Camarillo Health Care District, 3639 E. Las Posas Road, Suite 17, in Camarillo. Call 388-1952 for more information. OTHER HAPPENINGS Saturday: 2 p.m., fall prevention seminar, Meadowbrook Senior Living, 5217 Chesebro Road, Agoura Hills. Call 818-991-3544 for reservations. Sept. 27: 6:30 p.m., game night, “Secret Word Game,” Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 381-2744 for more information. Oct. 2: 1-2 p.m., mandatory orientation “A Matter of Balance” class, Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley. Call 583-6363 for more information. Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are located at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 or call 495-6250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (please include your telephone number.) You are invited to submit questions on senior issues. Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/sep/17/betty-berry-determining-what-is-suspicious-being/#ixzz2j8VmzRCc – vcstar.com More …
Determining what is suspicious activity requires being alert
About the Author: Betty Berry
Betty Berry brings a deep understanding of senior issues to her position as Senior Advocate for Senior Concerns. She has advocated for seniors since 1993. Through the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program, known as HICAP, she is registered with the State of California as an Insurance Counselor, a Long-Term Care Insurance Counselor and a Community Educator. She has served on the Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council as a member and Chair, has been a member of the Financial Abuse Strategic Team (FAST) and currently serves on the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) Advisory Board and authors the Senior Advocate column that appears in the Ventura County Star. Betty completed her undergraduate degree at California Lutheran University and earned her Juris Doctorate degree at Ventura College of Law.
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