Updated: 10:25 a.m. Friday, April 25, 2008 | Posted: 5:51 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 2008

Strange Door Knockers In West Seattle Neighborhood



SEATTLE —

West Seattle residents are talking about a man or men who approach people in their homes, saying they just want to talk.

Police said this man or men have not committed any crimes, but they fear that's what the men have in mind.

Larry Carpenter, a West Seattle resident, said the man knocked on the door of his house.

"He said good afternoon sir. I'm here to practice my communication skills. There's a group of us here from the Army on an exercise," said Carpenter.

Carpenter told KIRO 7 that it sounded suspicious, even though the man showed what looked like an Army ID, and went on to explain the skills he hoped to master.

"Approach people directly and use direct language and maintain good eye contact, that's very important," said Carpenter.

Carpenter posted the incident on West Seattle Blog and discovered he wasn't the only person approached.

People responded to the blog saying they experienced similar situations. Responses included an incident where a man wanted to talk about careers, another where two guys knocked on a door, and one where they asked for cash donation for underprivileged children.

KIRO 7 contacted Fort Lewis about these incidents in the Alki area.

"We don't have any evidence that these people are actually soldiers," said Catherine Caruso a spokeswoman for Fort Lewis. "If they are a soldier, we'd like to find out because no soldier should be asking their way into people's homes, definitely not in this manner."

Residents should first call 911 to alert police that this person is operating in their area or if they feel they are in danger.

Caruso says Fort Lewis would appreciate any information about the person or persons reported to be representing themselves as Army soldiers. Residents should take down the man's name and unit number and contact the Fort Lewis Public Affairs Office. During the week the office can be reached at 253-967-0147 or 253-967-0152. If it is over the weekend call 253-967-0015 and ask for public affairs.

Carpenter said he kept expecting the man to ask for money, but the man simply left.

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