Reporting Suspicious & Criminal Activity

Suspicious activity can be defined as any person or behavior that causes alarm.

What to Look For

  • Slow moving vehicles without lights
  • Vehicle being loaded with valuables if parked by closed business or residence.
  • Person detaching mechanical parts or accessories from vehicle
  • Locked vehicle that someone is attempting to forcibly enter
  • Someone being forced into a vehicle
  • Loitering in front of house or business
  • Person running carrying items of value
  • Sounds of a fight, screaming or yelling
  • Sounds of breaking glass
  • Person offering items for sale at a very low price.
  • Persons coming to your door with unusual requests such as money for gas or locksmith, donations for a charity but the person carries no official looking materials.
  • If your intuition tells you something isn't right, call 911 or the non-emergency number and report your suspicious. It's better to discover that nothing is wrong than to let the crime occur.

Describing Suspects, Vehicles and Suspicious Activities

When you call the police, how you describe what you have seen is very important. Your information will allow any responding officer (s) to know specifically what they are looking for and where to look for it.

  • Suspects: take note of gender, race, age, height, weight, hair, complexion, scars, tattoos, glasses, facial hair, clothing, and anything else that would help police find the person. If you don't have time to note all these, pay most attention to things the suspect cannot change.
  • Vehicles: vehicle description is the most important piece of information. Callers can describe the vehicle description easier by following CYMBALS model
    • C – Color of Vehicle
    • Y – Year of Vehicle
    • M – Make of Vehicle
    • B – Body Style of Vehicle
    • A – Accessories of the Vehicle
    • L – License of the Vehicle
    • S – State of the License of the Vehicle.
  • Activities: as much detail as possibly is helpful!
  • The 911 dispatchers will ask a series of questions regarding suspect and vehicle descriptions.

Accurate Terminology

It is important to be clear and accurate about what you are observing. To say "I've been robbed" when in fact you were a victim of burglary may have an effect on how the police respond.

  • Assault: causing injury or attempting to cause injury to another person.
  • Burglary: unlawful entry of a structure with intent to commit a crime.
  • Car prowl: theft from an automobile, not the theft of an automobile.
  • Robbery: taking or carrying away of another's property forcefully or with imminent threat of force with intent of permanently depriving rightful owner of the property. (e.g. mugging or stick up)
  • Vandalism: destruction or defacing of property.
  • Sexual Assault: forced or non-consensual sexual activity by one against another.

Calling 911, Non-Emergency Number or Other Resources

  • When to call 911: Call 911 when it is an emergency and a prompt response is needed. Call 911 if it is a life-threatening situation or something is occurring at the time of the call. A fire, medical problem, fight, or any situation that could result in loss of life or major property loss should be called into 911.
  • What happens when you call 911 When you call 911, a call taker will ask you a series of questions which they are trained to ask.
  • Why you should stay on the line While you are on the phone, he or she can send your call to the dispatcher. Staying on the line with the call taker does not interfere with the ability of the dispatcher to send help and it will not delay the response. The call taker may need you to stay on the line to help direct emergency personnel to the right location or to provide additional assistance that can help ensure your emergency is handled correctly. If it is possible, do not hang up the phone until the 911 call take says it is okay to hang up
  • When to call non emergency number: the non-emergency number for Moses Lake is 762-1160. Using the non-emergency number keeps 911 available for true emergencies. You can call the non-emergency number when you want to report a crime which occurred a few hours, or even days ago. Other examples on when to call the non-emergency number is when you find a bike on your property that is not yours, when you look out the window and you see people behaving suspiciously and you would like the police to check them out.

EMERGENCIES, in progress crime and for a response by law enforcement


Non emergency calls


Moses Lake Police Department


Grant County Sheriff

509-754-2011 ext 468

Grant County Emergency Management


Grant County Health District


Samaritan Healthcare


City of Moses Lake