Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Q: We are constantly being told 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 seen entering a neighbor’s side or backyard 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 burglaries.

A door-to-door solicitor might be someone trying to see whether residents are at home. While we have been told to ignore such knocks on the door, we are now being advised to ask, through a locked door, who it is and what the person wants. An unanswered knock could result in a break-in attempt.

Abandoned vehicles might have been stolen, while those 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 during a crime.

Although some suspicious situations could result in innocent explanations, report what you think might be criminal activity.

If you hear noises such as gunshots, screaming or fighting, report them 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, a description and, if possible, the license number should be included. If you can, report how many people were in the vehicle and their sex. If you see the vehicle leave a scene, note the direction of travel.

When reporting a suspicious person, describe the clothing worn and unusual characteristics such as glasses, a beard, jewelry, scars or tattoos. If the person has left the scene, report the direction of travel and mode of transportation, if you can.

Q: Will the Senior Advocate series at the Westlake Village Civic Center be continued this year?

A:It will begin again next month. “Let’s Look At Our Driving Abilities” will run from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Feb. 8.

The seminar will address physical and mental changes that occur over time and will present ways to compensate for these changes. Through group participation, attendees will collect ideas on how to remain good drivers and enjoy the independence of having a driver’s license.

The Civic Center is at 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive in Westlake Village. No reservations are required. Call the advocate’s office at 495-6250 for more information.


Today: Advocate’s one-on-one counseling services, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave., Moorpark.

Today: “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” seminar, 1:30 to 3 p.m., Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley.

Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362; phone 495-6250 or email betty@seniorconcerns.org. (Please include your telephone number.) You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.


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