How can I be a good witness?

If you are a crime victim or if you witness a crime, your observations can lead to a faster resolution of the case. When you report a crime, a Beaver County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher will ask you to describe the suspect(s) you observed. Never place your personal safety or the safety of those around you in jeopardy to get a better description of a subject, but if possible, make a mental picture of the suspect(s) by scanning the individual(s) from top to bottom, and outside to inside.

Things to Note


Note the most obvious information first: race, sex, approximate age, and weight/height. Then note hair and eye color, complexion and any distinguishing features such as glasses, scars, facial hair, etc.

Notice what the person is wearing, starting with the outside layer of clothing. Many times a suspect may remove outerwear to elude law enforcement officers.


If you're describing a vehicle, remember the acronym CYMBALS:

  • Color
  • Year
  • Make
  • Body
  • Additional descriptive features
  • License
  • State

Show All Answers

1. Who do I call in an emergency?
2. How can I be a good witness?
3. Where can I get assistance if I’ve been a witness to or a victim of a crime?
4. I have a tip about a crime, where can I report it?