Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Hobby Shops

What Should I Consider Suspicious?

Behavior Indicators

  • Demonstrating unusual interest in remote-controlled aircraft.
  • Demonstrating interest that does not seem genuine.
  • Inquiring about remote controls and model aircraft payload capacity and maximum range.
  • Inquiring about learning to fly expensive giant-scale aircraft without first learning to fly small-scale aircraft.
  • Possessing little knowledge of activity for which the purchase is intended.
  • Exhibiting unusual interest or specific interest in rocket motors or igniters.
  • Demonstrating no interest or enthusiasm for the hobby or sport.
  • Shoplifting or purchasing:
    • Large quantity of model aircraft fuel.
    • Several large aircraft, engines, or transmitters.
    • Model rocket motor igniters without adequate knowledge.
    • Large quantity of paintball equipment and supplies with very little information about local paintball activities.
  • Using cash for large transactions or a credit card in someone else’s name.

Note: It is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different, it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.

What Should I Do?

Be Part of the Solution

  • Require valid ID from all new customers.
  • Keep records of purchases.
  • Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.
  • Watch for people and actions that are out of place.
  • Make note of suspicious statements, people, and/or vehicles.
  • If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.

Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others.

Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti-terrorism efforts.

Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.


Osceola County Sheriff’s Office
407-348-2222