Take note of their shoes: RCMP tips on reporting suspicious activity

Ever wondered if something you saw was worth calling in to the police? The Kamloops RCMP says to listen to your instincts and call in any suspicious activity.

Don't worry about sounding presumptuous — it's better to be safe than sorry, RCMP says

Kamloops RCMP Cppl. Jodi Shelkie has tips for how to handle situations that seem suspicious, but might be nothing. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Shelley Joyce, host of CBC's Daybreak, says was leaving for work early one January morning when she noticed a man walking down her street in the Barnhartvale neighbourhood of Kamloops, B.C. She said he looked vaguely suspicious, but because she didn't want to make assumptions she shrugged it off and went to work.

Later that day, she learned one of her neighbours' vehicles had been stolen.

Anna Martin, Joyce's neighbour whose Jeep was stolen, didn't realize the Jeep was gone until her husband went outside to start his truck.

"It takes a minute to sink in," she said. "I had to go look out the window myself, and it was not there."

Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie has some tips for the public for how to handle situations that may or may not be suspicious.  

Listen to your spidey senses

If you have a feeling that something isn't right, call the RCMP non-emergency line, Shelkie said.

"If it seems suspicious, it probably could be suspicious," Shelkie said.

Dispatchers will either let the caller know the person has already been investigated or send an officer to check things out, just to be safe.  

"We'd rather go in the first instance and stop something before it happens," she said.

Take note of their shoes

Shelkie said criminals are often described as wearing dark clothing, including hooded sweaters that cover their faces. If you take note of their shoes, that could be the defining characteristic that helps police find the person.

Shelkie suggested that you note their shoes as that may give police a good tip.

Don't approach the person

Joyce said she considered rolling down her car window to ask if the man needed help or a ride.

"I thought maybe this guy can't sleep and he's just out for a walk, or maybe he had a few drinks and he's just walking home, she said.

She realized later that interacting with the man could have been dangerous.

"Don't go out and attempt to follow the person because we may be calling our police dog service," Shelkie said. If you follow someone, that could alter the tracks and scents for dogs to follow.