Reader reports: Scooter stolen; suspicious visitor at the door

March 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm | In Crime, Door-to-door alert, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

2 reports of note tonight – one definitely a crime, the second one, hard to tell:

SCOOTER STOLEN: Sonia reported this one on the WSB Facebook wall. She and her daughter were at Lincoln Park late today when someone made off with her daughter’s scooter: “It was a Barbie scooter. My daughter was playing on the logs and I was taking pictures of her. We were by the construction area (Colman Pool).” If you find one abandoned somewhere, contact police, and tell them you know whose it might be.

CENSUS WORKER? OR WOULD-BE BURGLAR? Tanya had a visitor at her door along Fauntleroy in the Morgan Junction area, asking about her neighbors:

This evening we had an interesting situation at our house. Around 7 pm, the doorbell rang. It was a woman, claiming to be from the Census Bureau, asking if I knew if the neighbors were home. She said that houses get randomly chosen for visits from the Census Bureau, and that she had been trying every day for a week to contact our neighbors. According to her, after a week, the census workers are supposed to ask a neighbor if they know anything about the comings and goings of the person they are trying to reach. I later realized that this seemed a little strange – the census was 2 years ago! Anyway, I just wanted to warn our neighbors that there could be some evil-doers in the area.

Our online research so far doesn’t turn up any obvious reason this would be legitimate activity now, though the Census Bureau website does mention an “American Community Survey” that happens annually. No way to check with the Census Bureau right now, but if you have any idea whether this visitor was bogus or legit, we’re curious too.

13 Comments

  1. Ok, so I bit and looked up what a Barbie scooter was!! Can you
    imagine a thief scooting away on that item….cracks me up!

    Comment by scout 1 — 9:22 pm March 25, 2012 #

  2. We were part of a year long census survey. They came out once a month and asked questions. The lady should have ID badge or business card. We finished up our survey in Feb.

    Comment by kjk — 10:28 pm March 25, 2012 #

  3. We had the same situation down on 62nd and Admiral. She said she was with the census, she had a little card, and she was asking about a semi-vacant house. Any new news on this?

    Comment by Mariah — 10:51 pm March 25, 2012 #

  4. Census workers are issued ID. If in doubt, ask.

    Comment by Terri — 11:08 pm March 25, 2012 #

  5. Going to stop answering My door to strangers period. Theres a fine line between answering the door to a malicious stranger, and opening it up to an annoying stranger.

    Comment by gypsyhippie — 12:34 am March 26, 2012 #

  6. The Census Bureau conducts nearly 200 surveys a year, not just the national census every 10 years. Some of these surveys require mandatory participation, some voluntary. Some are quarterly, some monthly, some continuous year-round. Census Bureau field representatives must show their IDs on demand. They will also have a toll-free number you can call to verify their activity. If you are chosen, please participate. It costs more money if they have to make multiple visits.

    Comment by Joseph Copsey — 6:53 am March 26, 2012 #

  7. And the census data is never used for anything illegal, like interning Japanese citizens…

    Even if it WAS census, there’s some question if answering their questions is the right thing to do.

    Comment by MAS — 10:46 am March 26, 2012 #

  8. I will wager she was no more connected to the Census than I am to the South Pole.

    If she was that hot to talk to them officially, she’d have left a note or sent them a letter.

    I will bet she could not have given you their name had you asked.

    I always suggest asking for their driver license, that’s usually a good check on honesty levels. Especially if they are currently waving around some sort of generic “I.D.” card. See if the names match, assuming they don’t suddenly discover they have urgent business in Spokane when asked for real proof of their identity..

    Comment by Jim P. — 12:18 pm March 26, 2012 #

  9. Suspect everyone that comes to your door. Always be vigilant. Call the police every time. TRUST NO ONE.

    Comment by FauntleeHillsFag — 12:29 pm March 26, 2012 #

  10. I am always surprised to read stories like this. It baffles me that people still open the door to strangers. It’s just not worth the risk. Also I have found the “no solicitors” sign on my fence has worked wonders. If someone still has the nerve to knock on my door I’ll tell them through the closed, locked door I’m not interested then call for my “husband” (ie any random guy’s name so they know someone is home and don’t proceed to break in).

    Comment by Cstar — 2:08 pm March 26, 2012 #

  11. Last week there was a pair of people 1 female 1 male, and then this weekend the female returned. I am on crutches and can’t get to the door very fast. They did not do anything suspicious.

    Just wondering.

    Comment by lookingforlogic — 8:34 pm March 26, 2012 #

  12. I was sent an American Community Survey to fill out in January, and two female census workers came to my door to collect it in late February after I never made it down to the post office to drop it off. They showed their ID’s to me, and had official paperwork on their clipboards as well. Not saying this lady that showed up at this particular door was legit or not…but yes, census workers are out right now.

    Comment by Delridge Chick — 10:12 pm March 26, 2012 #

  13. I just saw on the news this week that there has been an increasing number of break-ins in the south end. Burglars often send females to knock on doors to see if someone is home (less intimidating?). Maybe if someone answers they use the Census as their excuse for knocking.

    Comment by wsmama — 10:51 pm March 29, 2012 #

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