West Seattle door-to-door alerts: 3 more reports

April 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm | In Door-to-door alert, West Seattle news | 24 Comments

Three more door-to-door alerts tonight – read on for details:

From a Fauntleroy resident in the 45th SW/SW Director area, received a short time ago:

There are some aggressive sales folks out in this neighborhood. The guy said there are 30 of them in the area. Please be aware as he did not want to take no for an answer.

A Schmitz Park-area resident e-mailed tonight to say she had an unsettling encounter with a solicitor just before 6 pm last night:

I was leaving and didn’t have time to talk with him, he seemed to be going door to door for some reason, he never said what he wanted but that he’d come again on Saturday (I won’t be answering my door for sure!). When I returned at 8:30 pm he was still in my neighborhood. We live on 57th and Winthrop St in the Alki area which dead-ends at Schmitz Park and there are only about 10 houses on each side of Winthrop, it is not a through street and we all know each other, strangers rarely walk by. I spoke with one of my older neighbors who said that he told them that he wanted their money and he wanted it now, they didn’t see a weapon. They told him to leave the neighborhood and he wasn’t getting any money and they shut the door quickly. It was very disconcerting that he was still lurking around our neighborhood for over three hours. None of us will be opening our door when people knock.

The only description she had was dark complexion, about 5’8″, and carrying a water bottle.

Not long before that happened, Steve had e-mailed this report, about what he believes was the same solicitor reported here earlier this week:

Just a note about someone that was previously reported on 4/4 on the blog. A person is going door to door talking about being a sales trainee but not really ever explaining what he¹s selling. When confronted, he becomes clearly agitated and he becomes verbally abusive.

We called the police (especially since our house was robbed about two weeks ago). They came quickly but he wasn¹t in the immediate vicinity any longer. The person was African American, wearing all white, about 5’7″. Area is 59th/Charlestown.

Here are the city rules about door-to-door soliciting. Don’t be shy about asking for a license and ID.

24 Comments

  1. Some clown tried to come to my door on Elmgrove and 37th around 630 today but my dogs seemed to scare him off. Not sure what he wanted since he didn’t have the stones to actually knock on the door, but he fits the description above. AA male with dreads wearing a white shirt and skinny black tie carrying a binder or folder. Actually tried to open the door once my dogs were wrangled but he had moved along.

    Comment by Weiss — 9:44 pm April 9, 2011 #

  2. We’re in the Fauntleroy neighborhood too and received a knock at the door around 7:15pm by two young men; mid-20′s, black, business casual dress, short hair. One tried to show me something through the door (I didn’t answer it). I indicated I wasn’t interested and they quickly left. I noticed them head west on Trenton towards Fauntleroy Way SW. They seemed to be selective in the homes they visited. One unusual note: they did not ring the door bell and knocked in a way a friend or family member would do — three quick and one long knock.

    Comment by EAO — 11:14 pm April 9, 2011 #

  3. I live in Gatewood near 41st and Monroe.  I watched those two around 5:30-ish tonight, one was tall and thin with short-cropped hair, the other larger build with long hair in a ponytail.  Both were black males and appeared to be late 20′s. They had similar clothing (dark slacks, white shirt with a black tie, dark blue jackets). I watched the tall skinny guy linger on our corner a bit without really doing anything before moving from house to house knocking on doors then taking a “non-threatening” position several feet from the door.  He would move on when no one came to the door.  Twice I saw him start up the walk-way only to abruptly turn around when he noticed “no solicitation” signs on my neighbors homes.  I was in my car about to go out on an errand when all this occurred, so I just delayed my trip to watch.  After a time I drove down Monroe to California to see where he went. By the time I got to Monroe I saw him and the second guy walking north on California.  I drove by them slowly pretending to talk on my cell phone and looked at them as if to say “we are watching”.  I finished my errands and drove the neighborhood only to see them again at 41st and Elmgrove.  The taller guy was talking to a neighbor while standing at a distance from the front door. I drove around the block again and when I passed that house again, he was right at the front door.  Talking to someone through a now only partially open door.

    At that point I was tired of staking out these guys and finally went home. 

    Comment by SeattleTimeBandit — 11:53 pm April 9, 2011 #

  4. We had one guy working through our neighborhood in Fairmount, Hansen View (south of PMSV & west of Camp Long) too. Sounds like he may be from the same group, but a different individual. He also wore white shirt & black slacks, and was wearing a tan v-neck sweater that just didn’t look right on someone his age — guessing he was in his early 20′s. He had some type of paperwork with him; didn’t see what it was.
    .
    His behavior was odd in that he seemed to randomly choose houses to approach; he avoided those with fenced front yards. In hindsight, we realized he stayed around the neighborhood for well over an hour, as he was knocking on a neighbor’s door when I left to take a walk; over an hour later when I came home, he was still on my block & approached me.
    .
    At first, he seemed polite, although very animated with big gestures & what seemed like exaggerated facial expressions – not a normal conversational tone. He said something about mentorships & wanting to prove to the company he works for that he has good communication skills. I said I wasn’t interested, but wished him well…at that point he became instantly hostile & verbally agressive toward me. I went inside my house, but he was talking angrily as he went to approach the house of another neighbor.

    Comment by homedk — 1:45 am April 10, 2011 #

  5. My husband and I live in a secured closed building, but sometime between 7 and 8pm on Thursday we got a knock at the door and some guy tried to talk my husband into contributing to some vague student fund. Never mentioned who he was with and was rather hard to shake off. Beside him being pushy he wasn’t supposed to be able to get in the building in the first place, so ether he called in to everyone till someone let him in or got past the lock. This is also in the Fauntleroy neighborhood. Also used the musical type knock that a friend would use.

    Comment by cj — 2:55 am April 10, 2011 #

  6. is it ok to shoot someone on my porch, or would I have to invite him in?

    Comment by Paul — 3:25 am April 10, 2011 #

  7. He would have to be in your house (not invited!)… even if he had a gun pointed at you! Otherwise you are the bad guy!!!!

    Comment by Concerned Citizen — 7:45 am April 10, 2011 #

  8. OMG! I live on 57th and had a migraine but someone last night would not stop ringing my doorbell… the only thing that stopped me from getting out of bed around 6;30 ish (home alone) to tell them to quit it was the pain in my head… scarey to think it may have been this person!!

    Comment by Dawn — 9:56 am April 10, 2011 #

  9. Homedk – I’m near Fairmount Park and I had a visit yesterday from (I think) the same guy you described. He was polite with me, though, and when I told him I wasn’t interested, he wished me well and went to my neighbor’s door. I’m sorry you got worse treatment than me!

    Comment by ElizabethElaine — 12:17 pm April 10, 2011 #

  10. Just remember to take their picture. A good quality picture. Chances are, it isn’t a coincidence that property crimes happen where these guys “solicit” stuff. Really, they’re casing places, and feeling out their chances of making some cash without getting caught. Take their picture. Nothing spooks them more than knowing we have evidence to prove who we saw and when.

    Comment by (required) — 12:40 pm April 10, 2011 #

  11. Rules for answering the door for a solicitor:
    1. Quickly strip.
    2. Squirt ketchup over self.
    3. Grab large butcher knife.
    4. Fling door open and begin screaming about cockroaches in your brain while waving knife in general direction of solicitor.

    They’ll never come back again.

    Comment by David — 2:13 pm April 10, 2011 #

  12. A friend of my girlfriend lives in Morgan junction near the Starbucks. The other night a solicitor visited her and she told the person she wasn’t interested in what they were selling. That next morning she woke up to her car being broken into. Coincidence??? I say NO! The guy with the “Take a Picture” idea is the best thing I heard all day. It’s true, they don’t want to be recognized. I will take that idea and my camera phone to the door! Thanks for posting this and all the locations to be on the lookout. It looks like it’s getting out of control honestly!

    Comment by Jtk — 2:21 pm April 10, 2011 #

  13. Thanks ElizabethElaine!
    .
    FWIW, my impression is that this kid wasn’t casing the neigherhood (he wasn’t looking into windows or back yards or cars), but rather was just extremely frustrated & desperate to make some commissions or obtain sales leads.
    .
    My hunch is that he was given some kind of “sales training” (hence the dramatic mannerisms, but no clear message) & then dropped into our neighbohood. I neglected to mention last night that he said something about trying to prove himself to his company. He also mentioned that no one in our neighborhood including me would talk to him. To me, he seemed absolutely desperate & extremely frustrated; I suspect he was lashing out because he wasn’t even close to meeting a sales quota or making any money. It was toward the end of the day, getting cold & dark outside.
    .
    As much as I hate door-to-door solicitations & being verbally abused, I’m more concerned that these so-called companies are allowed to exploit young people like this kid; they are setting the scene for bad & unpleasant things to happen…

    Comment by homedk — 2:41 pm April 10, 2011 #

  14. There were two standing on the corner (61st/Admiral) Friday evening, having a loud and animated discussion. The older gentleman was ‘coaching’ (yelling at) the younger one.
    I’ve had bosses like that before.

    Comment by Erik — 5:56 pm April 10, 2011 #

  15. On Walnut in N. Admiral we had a kid at our door, no license, no ID, claiming to be selling magazines. He asked me what I do for a living, what my hobbies are and if I know the other neighbors. He took FOREVER to explain that he was selling magazines, and had some schpeel about getting points at work and handed me a list of names and addresses. Something seemed off about the whole thing. He was African American, about 5’9″, wearing khakis, a white oxford shirt and a tie.

    Comment by Melissa — 6:09 pm April 10, 2011 #

  16. I live near the Morgan junction- my house was burglarized several weeks ago and this week I had two different solicitors in the past 3 days. I did not answer the door on either occasion. Today, a guy knocked on the front door twice then walked around to the side door and knocked again. Then he walked away and did not seem to knock on any other neighbor’s doors. Descriptions seem to match the above descriptions. This is freaking me out on the heels of all of our neighborhood burglaries! Any suggestions for how to better deal with this?

    Comment by JC — 8:01 pm April 10, 2011 #

  17. saw the same guy. was in our nieghborhood and we had our dog scare him off. it was pretty funny

    Comment by jack — 4:19 pm April 11, 2011 #

  18. @Melissa – we live near 47th and Juneau and we just had the same guy (khakis, white collar shirt under a blue zip up sweatshirt and a tie) with the same deal (asked me what I do, what my hobbies are, all about points, magazines, competition, job training, etc) come to our door tonight. I shouldn’t have answered, but I did.. he was very nice and personable, but very persuasive.. I almost gave in just to get it to end.. but I stood my ground and finally said no (after he said that even if I didn’t want to buy I could fill out the paperwork and then cancel the order later or put a stop order on my check). His face fell and he asked me what he did wrong. I hope there is no “pay back” for this. My new rule: don’t answer the door if you don’t know the person on the other side. And a no solicitation sign is going up today!

    Comment by J — 6:14 pm April 11, 2011 #

  19. @J – just had the same guy (khakis, white collar shirt, blue fleece/sweater type jacket) come to my door just down the street. he knocked once very lightly on the door and my dogs went CRAZY – they are extremely protective of the house. he took off jogging down the steps and was down the street before i could even get to the door to answer it, so i’m not sure what he wanted. he proceeded to go down the street to a few houses – would skip a couple, go up to one, skip a few more.

    Comment by Dandelion — 6:27 pm April 11, 2011 #

  20. I live on Manning in the Luna Park neighborhood. I read a lot of these posts yesterday, so I was almost somewhat expecting it to be one of these guys when I heard my doorbell ring at about 5:15 this evening. I never open the door for ANY strangers, be it male or female. When I spoke through the window next to the door and asked what I could help him with (African- American, khaki pants, white long sleeve dress shirt and tie with some kind of silver crown on one or more teeth) he pointed to his hand and told me “not all black people are bad” and “not to stereotype” and walked away.

    Comment by T — 6:47 pm April 11, 2011 #

  21. The thing I found odd about it was that after they left my house, they skipped my neighbors house – the neighbors were obviously home (open curtains, lights and tv on, car in driveway), but went to the house after that, where it didn’t look like anyone was home. My house also probably didn’t look like anyone was home because there was no car in the drive, curtains were still closed, etc.

    Comment by Dandelion — 8:53 pm April 11, 2011 #

  22. okay, I’ve seen a couple of these guys lately (one today ) in the 37th and Findlay neighborhood. There are 2 of them, and they are canvassing the area separately, but for what I’m not sure. I’m not too happy to hear about their aggressive behavior, it definitely makes you not want to open your door.

    Comment by kay sheen — 4:39 pm April 12, 2011 #

  23. One of these kids knocked on my front door today despite the “No Solicitation” plaque we have. I pointed this out to him and he mumbled something about going door to door and I told him he’s breaking the law and he needed to leave, right now. We’re at Jeaneau and 34th sw. and unfortunately I hadn’t seen this thread yet, my wife told me about it when she got home. The last thing we need right now is to get robbed…..

    Comment by blackwatch — 11:27 pm April 12, 2011 #

  24. http://i1115.photobucket.com/albums/k554/recordgirl/New%20west%20Seattle%20blog/3df70664.jpg

    http://i1115.photobucket.com/albums/k554/recordgirl/New%20west%20Seattle%20blog/3df70664.jpg
    Photo of two young men knocking on doors looking in windows as we were walking our dog. We felt it was necessary to take a photo. They confronted us, pretended to be lost than disappeared. Just an FYI. We r new to this neighborhood and have already had our car burglarized and my gps got stolen.
    The first week we moved here we had a man fitting the description from prior posts knock on our door and give the same info -new to sales, training etc. He provided some sort of an id. Did not explain what he was selling, kept rambling and left after we said not interested. Since than we have spent hundreds of dollars on every security system possible HA! Cameras, every door, window alarms etc. Being new to the area it made us very uncomfortable to encounter multiple negative incidences. However, we still love the neighborhood and people have been extremely nice… I guess we are more aware now that these kind of suspicious and criminal activities are very high in this area and wanted to take precautions.
    This blog certainly helps. Wish we had signed on sooner…I guess you live and learn…. Thanks everyone for all your helpful input…

    Comment by Newbie — 11:21 pm April 29, 2011 #

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