How to report some non-emergency crimes:
Crimes and suspicious activities that fall into this category are:
- those that don't involve serious personal injury, property damage, or property loss;
- ones in which there is no possibility that the suspect is still at the scene or is likely to return to the scene; and
- ones for which an immediate response is not needed.
If there is any doubt as to whether the situation is an emergency, it is always better to be on the safe side and call 9-1-1.
The SDPD response to non-emergency calls will depend on:
- the relative seriousness or priority of the situation;
- the likelihood of making an arrest at the scene; and
- the availability of an officer.
Response times are the longest for so-called "cold crimes" like home burglaries where the perpetrator has fled the scene, no suspects exist and the victim is in no further danger.
Some example situations that may not be emergencies are:
- home and business burglaries in which the suspect is gone from the scene;
- open or broken doors or windows in businesses or homes, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away;
- stolen checks and credit cards -- also call the financial institutions involved to have them stop payments of checks and verifications of charges;
- impersonation and stolen identification, e.g., drivers license;
- auto theft and vandalism;
- hit and run accidents with no injuries;
- minors violating curfew;
- loud parties -- the person calling must be willing to sign a complaint;
- road hazards that don't require immediate attention;
- past instances of graffiti or other vandalism;
- past instances of child or elder abuse;
- runaway juvenile or missing adult who does not need special care;
- car or building alarms;
- underage drinking;
- accumulations of consumer goods, especially in good condition and not in use in homes, garages, and storage areas.
Persons who are:
- disturbing the peace, i.e., loitering, panhandling, noise making, and harassing others;
- soliciting without a license, not displaying a valid registration card, or operating between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.;
- going door-to-door, or into side or back yards in a residential area;
- loitering near a business or home, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away;
- loitering near schools or parks;
- looking into parked vehicles;
- running other than for exercise;
- carrying property at an unusual time and place;
- entering and leaving property on daily or regular basis, or in large numbers, especially at night;
- drunk in public but not in any immediate danger;
- exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms but not a danger to themselves or others;
- offering goods for sale at ridiculously low prices;
- making a quick change of vehicles.
The ability of the police to locate and arrest criminals often depends on the thoroughness and accuracy of the report you submit. The following information checklist should be used for reporting both emergency and non-emergency crimes:
- Type of crime;
- Location: exact street address and nearest cross street;
- Time of occurrence;
- Weapons used;
- Number of persons injured and types of injuries;
- vehicle information - type, license number, color, year, make, model, unusual characteristics (e.g., dents, bumper stickers), the number of persons; and
- suspect information - race, gender, age, height, weight, hair color, hair length/ style, eye color, facial hair, clothing type/color, other characteristics (e.g., tattoos, missing teeth, scars, glasses) and direction of flight.
If you have additional questions about San Diego Police Department Recruiting, see the Frequently Asked Questions, call (619) 531-COPS (2677).
If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
To access 9-1-1 from a cell phone or outside San Diego, call (619) 531-2065.
For 24-hour non-emergencies, call (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.