By Tobe Leazenby
Carroll County Sheriff
The County Sheriff’s Office frequently receives calls from residents about suspected drug activity in their neighborhoods. Callers report they noticed “the new neighbors” leaving inside lights and the porch light on all night.
Some also report observing cars arriving in the early morning hours, someone from the cars going to the front door with the light on and then returning to their car after a visit of just a few minutes.
I am certain county residents who have not called have observed similar scenarios in their neighborhoods. Similar information is reported to us on a regular basis. I would like to explain what can be done by a citizen when such a situation is observed.
First of all, note the time of day or night activities seem to be the busiest. Document what cars look like noting the make, model, approximate year, color and the license plate number and from which state it was issued when possible. Count the people in the car.
Try to determine if a particular car makes frequent stops at the house. Write down distinguishing features such as a loud exhaust system or identifying markings including window and/or bumper stickers.
Try to note what visitors to the residence in question look like, such as the color of their clothing, whether they had a head cover and what kind. Notice long or short hair, build and gender. Be sure to document if the person or persons visiting the house are known to you or if they have been seen at the house previously.
Take note of any chemical odors in the air around the neighborhood. The methamphetamine cooking process has been streamlined and odors around a meth house are not as prevalent as they were when meth first came on the scene.
Above all, keep yourself and your family safe. Do not be obvious when attempting to collect a license plate number or while making other observations.
Anyone who suspects illegal activity at a neighbor’s home is asked to report to the Sheriff’s Department by calling (765) 564-2413. Callers may be asked to continue to make notations so we can develop probable cause to further an investigation. In some instances, deputies may be able to stop a car leaving a residence and take enforcement action at that time.
In most cases, we need to develop information and build a case. If ever in doubt, call us and we will talk to you about options or resources which can be implemented.