May 17

More "door-to-door" caution in Maple Leaf



Periodically we get reports of questionable activities by solicitors going door to door in the neighborhood.

This email came this morning from Sarah:

Two days ago a young woman came to my door selling magazine subscriptions. She was well-spoken and had what looked like “official documents” from a company called PS Circulation. We chatted for a bit, and then she left.

The next day when I was not home, she came by again and asked if she could use our bathroom, telling my husband that she was a friend of mine from work. The whole encounter felt a bit strange, and I suspect that she was scoping our home for a potential burglary. So, heads up Maple Leaf!

Terrie Johnston, Seattle Police crime prevention coordinator for the North Precinct, recently sent out advice for such situations.

Seattle Police officers respond to calls from citizens concerned about door-to-door salespeople. The results have ranged from the officers checking identification and sending the seller to the City of Seattle Revenue & Consumer Affairs office for their business license, to arrests of individuals posing as residential sellers, but wanted on warrants. There have also been arrests for aggressive behavior, threats made against the resident, burglaries, and assaults.

A pdf of that advice is here (click through the following page): door_to_door_sales.

About the author 

Sara W

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  1. “I looked through the frosted glass and saw a young man dressed in a white shirt, tie, and dress slacks.”

    That was a Mormon. They’ve been out in full force lately, I think part of their whole “I am a Mormon” campaign to go with Romney’s presidential bid. They do have to volunteer to work for you, if you have anything you need done around the yard.

  2. Sounds like the same girl I saw on Thursday walking down Roosevelt.

    She was talking on her cell phone and walking
    around the neighborhood knocking on doors. She said hi to me and seemed like a bad saleswoman.

    Didn’t get the pitch so I don’t know what she was up to.

    She didn’t scare me but she was up to something.

  3. Someone came by our place in Bothell today. I’m really glad that I read this blog!

    Well dressed, worn materials, extreme song and dance routine to get me to talk.


  4. Just two days ago, a young man came to the door at around 5 p.m. I never open the door for anyone unless I can identify them. I looked through the frosted glass and saw a young man dressed in a white shirt, tie, and dress slacks. I immediately said “I am not interested”. At first I thought maybe he was a Mormon, but I am fairly sure that they always travel in pairs.

    And just 2 yrs ago, there was another guy who came to the door and I did not open the door but told him I was not interested. I could tell by talking to him through the door that he was “off”.
    He ended up at our next door neighbor’s house and the wife was so fearful for her husband who foolishly opened the door, that she was ready to call 911.

  5. These folks are NEVER legit. NEVER.

    I’ve had a group of 3 young adults come to the door “selling magazines.” They were well dressed but their materials were really worn, and they were insistent there was no website I could order the magazines from, and that I needed to pay cash right then.

    When I refused, one of them grabbed the form from my hand with a not-so-family-friendly comment.

  6. I remember a watch was formed in the 70’s (I wasn’t here then, but my grandmother was part of it). The sticker is still on the house. We should form one.

  7. Does anyone know if that company is legit? That same woman came to our house months ago, I gave her some info and then I proceeded to get phone calls every day for months. I fortunately never answered because they were probably looking to gather some more info from me to complete their ability to engage in identity theft. I agree, the whole thing felt weird. Definitely think a neighborhood watch program may be the next step given all the activity lately.

  8. Another helpful option is getting a storm door if you have a solid main door without a window. I realize they are not cheap, but if you have debated getting one I would recommend it. This way when you are home, you can lock the storm door and if anyone comes to the door you can open your main door and talk to them through the glass of the storm door. Plus, the storm door makes a good place to put the No Solicitors sign.

  9. I would check your medicine cabinets for drug theft, and your bathroom window lock for sabotage. This is a common tactic for scoping houses AND stealing prescription medications.
    The best advice is to put a No Solicitor sign or sticker up, and NEVER let any random person in your house.

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