This is how you should determine if someone or something is suspicious:
Oakland Police will tell you to use your gut feeling, it is feel wrong then it probably is and you should report it.
Here are some examples that would be categorized as suspicious.
1) Any solicitor: City of Oakland requires a permit for people to go door to door and solicit anything from Gardening jobs to Collection to save the park. Anybody who knocks on your door who cannot present a City of Oakland Solicitation permit should be photographed with your cellphone and reported.
2) Any car that drives slower than usual, occupants that more interested in the houses or drive ways than the road in front of them. (sometimes making notes)
3) Any car that drives too fast (speeding away from crime scene).
4) Any person who hides or turns they face away from you when they notice you are observing them.
5) Any person carrying stuff that looks like loot, movers will handle stuff carefully – burglars will typically not.
6) Any person that is dressed or acting in a way that is unusual (peeking into windows), standing on a corner talking into a cellphone (lookout) etc.etc.
7) Cars parking in unusual places / blocking driveways (sometimes with engine running, doors open, and one driver on a cellphone)
When you report a suspicious person make sure skin color and race is part of the DESCRIPTION – NOT the REASON for the suspicion. (No racial profiling)
Oakland Police will log every report into their Compstat database and will be able to use your report as part of a detectable pattern, and depending on how your report fits into previous patterns they might decide to come by and they might not, in any case your information will be used by the police to capture criminals.
In this case over reporting is better than under reporting, there is no “cry wolf” effect here.
Have a safe weekend.