My question involves criminal law for the state of: Wisconsin
Is it illegal to "case" a house? For purposes of this question, I am defining "case" as observing a property to learn the habits/schedule of the inhabitants and neighbors with intention of using this knowledge to aid in a crime, such as burglary. Also for sake of discussion, assume that the person casing the house is doing so without actually trespassing on the property, such as from the street or public sidewalk, and is not capturing images through windows. If the person casing a house suddenly decides not to proceed with any crimes on the property and just goes on with their life, did they commit any crime solely by doing some research? What if they instead are noted to be acting suspiciously and the police confront them while they are casing the house?
The reason I'm wondering is that if you witness behavior outside your residence that appears to be people taking pictures of the house or keeping a close eye on things, would it be a good idea to call the authorities to investigate? Or will they just tell you to stop watching Charles Bronson movies?