Over the last couple of days, neighbors have experienced a rash of unwanted solicitors, often knocking loudly on doors and repeatedly ringing doorbells. The Magnolia Moms and Dads group was inundated with posts yesterday about a person or pairs of people aggressively approaching homes, some blatantly ignoring “no solicitors” signs.
Magwife, A Magnolia Voice tipster posted this last night:
“Over the past 2-days, two men have come to my door 3 different times, claiming to be seeking opportunities to practice social skills/public speaking. I answered the door just once but didn’t let them get far into the speech because I fell for an identical scenario about 6-months back – the guy tied the story in with magazine sales. I bought some mag subscriptions but never received anything. I later read on Magnolia Voice that this was a nationwide scam, potentially tied into home invasions. Anyway, it seems really weird that they keep returning even though my husband and i both I told them we aren’t interested. They have been here during the middle of the day and later at night…”
Among the more than 15 related posts yesterday on Magnolia Moms and Dads, residents reported:
- A man lurking in the dark near a duplex on 33rd ave w between Bertona and w Ruffner
- Solicitors banging on doors and repeatedly ringing doorbells on Smith and 29th
- 2 different groups of people soliciting the same house twice in 5 days near the Howe St. tennis courts
- 2 guys on Viewmont knocking on doors selling magazines
In one post, the homeowner called the police, and they came to take a statement. The officer told her that she had done the right thing by calling 911. He said that if you see anything out of the ordinary or suspicious to call 911, not the non-emergency number. That way they can track the complaints and keep our neighborhood safe. He reiterated that even if it does not look like a crime, call 911 and let them know what you see. It may be just the detail they need for a case they are working on. As of press time, the police are in pursuit of the person of interest, and had an idea of where the person might be, because of calls and tips from our neighbors.
Former West Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston said in a recent note:
I think I speak for the entire Community Police Team when I tell you that every day in our e-mail inbox, or on our telephone’s voicemail inbox, we find messages from the community that say something like this, “I wanted to let you know that I just saw something suspicious……….but I didn’t think this merited a 9-1-1 call”. Almost always the information is detailed, withgood descriptions and refers to something that may or may not have been criminal, but certainly seemed odd. And almost always it is too late for SPD to do anything with that information. I am now hoping to encourage you to trust that gut feeling of yours. If you get the sense that something weird is happening, even if it isn’t an emergency, please call 9-1-1 and simply state what you are reporting. The call taker will decide whether your call should be transferred off the primary line onto a secondary line. You don’t know what you prevent by getting a patrol cruiser coming into your neighborhood.