What Does "MO" Mean in Police Talk?

What Does "MO" Mean in Police Talk?

What Does "MO" Mean in Police Talk?

In police work, the M.O., or "modus operandi," refers to the methods the criminal uses to perpetrate the crime. Typically a serial criminal uses the same or similar methods for every crime; the criminal's M.O. entails the planning, execution, escape and other details involved in the crime.

Identifying the M.O. of a criminal helps police connect crimes, identify suspects and create psychological profiles of criminals. An M.O. is typically distinct and characteristic of a specific individual criminal or suspect. For example, the way that a criminal enters the scene of a crime or approaches a victim remains their M.O. for subsequent crimes. Modus operandi is Latin for "method of operation."