BROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Residents are concerned after a suspicious woman was seen around their neighborhood.
Katie Cox was at her neighbor’s home when she saw a woman driving around taking pictures.
She said, “The car drove down and left. A couple minutes later, maybe 30 seconds later, it came back and it was sitting in front of my neighbor’s house taking pictures.’”
Cox decided to go outside and confront the driver asking what she was doing. She said the woman did not respond, quickly look a picture of the street sign, and drove off.
She immediately called the non-emergent number and told police about the sketchy behavior. Cox explained, “(The car) had no identifiable city sign or anything like that on it. The odd thing was is that all three of the homes that we saw her take pictures of, the garage doors were up.”
Cox says she believes the woman did this to possibly document who leaves their garage doors open and what’s inside.
There are people whose job it is to take pictures of homes and properties for the assessor’s office, banks, real estate companies and others.
That is why Officer James Koch said, “Most of the time, it’s going to be legitimate. It’s going to be someone who’s working for a company. They are doing legitimate work. They’re taking pictures. They’re scoping areas out. They’re surveying land or property. They’re doing that legitimately, and they’re doing it out of their personally owned vehicle most of the time.”
Koch says red flags would be if there is more than one person in the car or if the suspicious person is talking to people and gathering information. He says the more information you can give, the easier it is for police to track that person down.
Koch added, “If we do have the accurate information and we are able to contact that person or the vehicle that was described to us, we ask questions. We stop the people. We stop the car. We’ll ask, ‘What are you doing in this area? What’s your business here? Do you live here? Are you working?’”
And even though photographing from the street is not a crime, Cox says the potential for crime can be avoided if neighbors are vigilant.
The homeowner said, “As long as we’re going to be afraid, they’re going to continue to get away with things. We have to be willing to stand up and say something and do something.”
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