For the past two YEARS, there has been a van parked on my street that only moves twice a week: once for street sweeping on monday, again for street sweeping on thursday. In other words, it only moves to avoid a ticket.

The person who moves it wears a ballcap and sunglasses no matter what, even if it's 10pm and raining.

The van is blacked out with curtains, sun visors, and every other way to make sure no one can see in it.

The van was painted over, but I can make out the outline of the stenciling that used to be there. It seems that person who owns it used to have a sole proprietorship that screams "convicted felon that can't be employed anymore". Like car detailing. This adds to my suspicion.

After talking to my neighbors, they have conveyed that he has another habit - lifting a heavy duffel bag into the van that is so heavy, he struggles with it. Every. Single. Day.

I'm convinced that this guy is exhibiting some behavior that is extremely regimented, albeit misguided. His life seems to revolve around moving this vehicle to avoid tickets and lifting god knows what into this vehicle.

If the readers want me to provide more details that are suspicious I can certainly do so, but I believe this guy may have a collection of human thumbs in his van. He's up to no good.

So my question: I live in a big city, and the cops basically are always playing catchup with limited resources. In fact, my stolen car was recovered and they didn't even call me to tell me that they found it. It's a cluster. If I set up a webcam and capture this disciplined behavior over two weeks, will that be enough to compel them to devote enough resources to get a court order and search this guy's house and car? What do I need to get for probable cause?

1 Answer 1


Most police departments will accept reports of suspicious activity. See San Francisco's, for example.

Report what you know or have gathered. If that, together with all the other information the police have regarding this person and potentially related crimes, rises to reasonable suspicion or probable cause, they may decide to investigate. Even if what you give them doesn't rise to the level necessary for a search or seizure, they may decide to devote resources to observe his activity in order to develop reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

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    Even if they do not/cannot investigate, the information may be useful later in other ways. It always pays to just tell the police. Sometimes they may not seem too excited, but I have seen situations where they are already investigating an individual and they cannot tip their hat. Inside, they are giddy with glee (hows that for a picture?) over what you have told them all the while giving you the brush-off as not to give clues to what they are already doing.
    – closetnoc
    Apr 24, 2016 at 2:39

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