Crime Trends

Crime Mapping Winston-Salem

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Home Burglaries 

Door-to-Door Salesmen

The Winston-Salem Police Department would like to remind you to use caution when answering the door. In the past, we have investigated home burglaries where someone poses as a service worker or salesperson. These criminals are great communicators and can easily distract you while their partner commits the theft. Below are a few things to remember when someone knocks at your door:

  • Confirm the identity of the person at the door before you open it.
  • If you do not recognize the person at the door, tell them to go away or you will call the police.
  • If you open the door, ask for credentials from the person. If they cannot provide any, call the company they represent and confirm they are there for a reason.
  • Be cautious of pushy salesmen. Ask them to leave, and if they refuse, call the police.
  • Report suspicious persons and vehicles to the police. Be as descriptive as possible.
  • Most often companies will notify you in advance of unexpected service work.
  • If a representative is there for a legitimate reason, they will understand and cooperate.

For more crime prevention information, please visit the crime prevention section of our website, email us, or call the Crime Prevention Unit at 336-773-7835.

Woman Looking Through Front Door PeepholeDaytime Housebreaking Information

Recently, the Winston Salem Police Department has seen an increase in daytime house break-ins. The suspects are ringing doorbells or knocking to see if anyone will answer the door. If no one answers the door, the suspect will breach the front or back door.

If someone does open the door, the suspect will make up a story saying their vehicle has broken down, they lost their dog, they're looking for work, etc. We would like to remind you to never open your door for someone that you do not know. It is suggested to acknowledge the person's presence at the door by saying, "go away," " I'm calling the police," etc. 

When you look outside to identify the subject at the door, get a good description: height, weight, age, clothing description, mode of travel (on foot or in a vehicle). Be as specific as possible: Did the jacket have a different color liner? Was there fur around the hood? Please report these incidents to the police as soon as possible.

Crime Prevention Tips

  • Most Important - Lock your doors and windows at all times (both your home and vehicle).
  • Complete a home inventory of your property.
    • Make
    • Model
    • Serial Number
    • OAN (Owner Applied Number) - Usually your NC driver's license number but NEVER your Social Security Number
    • Personal identifiers (scratch on top of TV, paint splatter, etc.)
    • Take pictures of your property.
    • Photograph jewelry (make a specific description of the items).
    • Personal messages engraved in rings or pendants
    • Photograph old coins and document their value.
  • If you have a safe, remember to lock it. Also, bolt it to the wall or floor. If you can move it, so can they.
  • Secure your outbuildings. Document serial numbers for your lawn equipment as well as your tools. Remember to lock the door.
  • Cut off bushes at about 3 feet and tree limbs at about 6 feet from the ground.
  • Maintain a lived-in appearance while away from home.
    • Use timers for lights and radios
    • Have a trusted neighbor collect the mail and newspaper, or suspend those services while away.
  • Display alarm decals and signs.
  • Close blinds and windows. By leaving them open you are allowing the criminal to window shop.
  • Take part in Neighborhood Watch - attend meetings and take an active role.
  • The police can't be on every street corner every second of the day. You are our best eyes and ears, and we need your help to catch those responsible.
  • Change your daily patterns. Criminals look for the easiest opportunity given to them.
  • Home Repairs - Don't let anyone you don't know in your home to complete repair work. Use trusted and reputable companies. They may not take anything, but they may tell their friends about the nice things you have.

Please visit the Crime Prevention section of the Winston Salem Police Department website for more Crime Prevention information.