With warmer weather and later light, solicitor reports are picking up – including these two reports from Arbor Heights today, which are followed by information on city rules and what you can do if someone you don’t know comes to your door, soliciting or not:
Three reader reports of note:
Another broken business window on California SW. Unlike the one at the Discovery Shop earlier this week, the circumstances here aren’t clear, but we’re sharing it as an FYI. It happened at White Crane Wellness (3435 California SW) sometime Saturday, according to massage therapist MJ, who reports “stopp(ing) by to pick up something from work at 5:45 pm (Saturday) and saw that our window had been broken. It is double paned. Luckily only the outer pane was broken but there was still broken glass at the scene. Management has been contacted. Don’t know if it is related to the Discovery Store vandalism or a separate incidence.”
Ahead – trespasser or prowler? and a door-to-door report:
After receiving two inquiries this hour regarding someone going door-to-door in Arbor Heights asking if people are interested in selling their homes, we’re wondering if this is happening on a more widespread basis, and if you have any firsthand experience with it. Both people who mentioned it say the man didn’t offer a card – one family said “no” and he left, the other pointed out houses for sale nearby, and they were given a handwritten note with a phone number. If you work in real estate or development, is this a legit, common tactic? We have heard realtors say they need more houses to sell, but not necessarily that they’re going door-to-door looking for them.
There’s been a resurgence of complaints/concerns about door-to-door solicitors in West Seattle lately. Some people have posted notes in the WSB Forums, but with more mentions showing up in all of our message boxes, from e-mail to Facebook to text, it seems like a good time to at least talk about the rules.
Most of the complaints we have heard have NOT been simply for the solicitation itself – but mostly because they were aggressive and/or rude. For example, we received this one today from Fauntleroy:
Just had an aggressive door to door magazine salesman in the last 30 minutes or so. Name Mike and claimed to be new here from South Carolina on a job program. No contact info or web information that could be looked up and referenced. He just had some magazine info of laminated paper and was pushing aggressively to try and get a donation/subscription.
He went away frustrated when I said I didn’t conduct any business from door to door sales.
The archives show it’s been a while since we recapped Seattle city law – so here again are the rules for door-to-door soliciting, aka “residential sales,” as shown in the Seattle Municipal Code. Key points to remember: If they are selling something, they must have licenses and IDs and they should not be the least bit reluctant to show both to you; hours are restricted to 8 am-9 pm; if you have a “no soliciting” sign, they’re supposed to leave you alone. But if someone is simply asking for a charity contribution, they do NOT require a license. And if you suspect they’re not really soliciting, but perhaps casing – they jiggled the doorknob, for example – police say, don’t hesitate to call.
P.S. For even more details from SPD, see the second half of this Crime Prevention newsletter from last year (PDF).
For the past few hours, we’ve been working to get details about an Admiral-area arrest that several people tipped us to/asked about, and finally have just spoken with police. They arrested a man who allegedly was working a residential neighborhood, going door to door claiming to be selling magazines, possibly as a sports-team fundraiser. Finally, at one house, police say, a woman was asleep on the couch when repeated doorbell-ringing woke her up. She answered the door, and the man tried to claim he was a neighbor, started talking about baseball, and as she tried to close the door, he put his foot in the door to try to stop her. She pushed back and he left; police found him at 45th and Admiral. Since he didn’t actually break into the house, they ultimately could only book him into jail for investigation of criminal trespassing, but the sergeant with whom we spoke says the suspect did not have anything in his possession indicating he was a legitimate door-to-door solicitor.
First time we’ve had a door-to-door alert in which it seems someone may be out there pretending to be affiliated with us. Just got a call from a manager of a Junction apartment building who says a man was there claiming to be doing a survey about Junction parking, and she said he claimed to be affiliated with West Seattle Blog. (Before we finished writing this, she called back and said he had tried to go to another nearby building, too.)
We would NEVER do a door-to-door survey OR a telephone survey OR a “stand on a streetcorner and ask people questions” survey. If we have questions for you (as we did a year and a half ago), we’ll ask them online.
The caller said the man had no ID but identified himself as “Mitch.” She described him as 60-ish, 6 feet tall, heavy-set, sports jacket and blue jeans.
Please let us know if you have had anybody claiming to be with WSB turn up at your door – or if you know this is some OTHER survey (the city had been doing another parking survey not so long ago, but we don’t believe they ever go door-to-door) – email@example.com or 206-293-6302 if you don’t want to comment here. Thanks!
Since door-to-door solicitors are often a hot topic here, we thought you might be interested in a news release sent today by State Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s office in Olympia. No specific companies named, but a general warning about the “door-to-door magazine sellers from out of state”: Click to read the rest of Door-to-door alert – from Olympia: ‘Beware of these solicitors’…
Solicitors still seem to be out in force. Two more reader reports have come in – read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle door-to-door alerts: Raising $ to travel?…
Just out of the WSB inbox from Andrea, who began, “Just wanted to get the word out about a brazen solicitor who stopped by today:” Click to read the rest of West Seattle door-to-door alert: ‘Brazen’ solicitor…
Over the past few days, we’ve received multiple reports of door-to-door solicitors – or people claiming to be – working this area. Ahead, some of those reports, and a reminder about the rules, in case somebody turns up at your door: Click to read the rest of Door-to-door alerts: Solicitor reports, and the rules…
They might be legit, they might not. Two of your West Seattle neighbors wanted to share door-to-door alerts from encounters last night, just in case: Click to read the rest of 2 West Seattle door-to-door alerts: ‘Free meat’; ‘paper routes’…
No way to tell if this was casing or legit, but a WSB’er wanted to get the word out about this Friday night encounter:
We live in townhomes on Fauntleroy Way SW near Morgan Junction. Around 8:45 PM, a white male approximately 5’8 140 lbs. with short brown hair wearing a black coat, white t-shirt, blue jeans and carrying a backpack knocked on the rear door of our unit. He said he was sorry to bother us but was wondering who he could talk to about leasing a unit in our development. These units are all owner-occupied and there are no real-estate signs advertising vacancy, etc. When we told him all units were owned he said he was sorry to bother us again and left on foot. We reported the suspicious activity to SPD and, after speaking with neighbors in the development, learned that they had seen him in the alley behind the units (near the off-street parking) and he had approached them and asked the same question.
What our tipster did is exactly what police ask you to do – particularly if the suspicious person or activity is happening NOW – call them (911 is preferred, SPD has said again recently; they can always refer you elsewhere if determining it’s not “happening now” or otherwise urgent).
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: Click to read the rest of Reader reports: Scooter stolen; suspicious visitor at the door…
Sounds like common spam e-mail, but it turned up on Brittany’s door:
Just wanna give you guys heads up that this afternoon between 4 & 4:30 my boyfriend working outside came in to find a note around our door knob giving us IMPORTANT notice that our “Chase” account needed attention. The notice was in both Spanish and English. The person walking door to door made not effort to speak with him as he was in the yard working thus leaving us to believe this is not a true important notice along with the fact that this was a at home printed note with no chase logo anywhere.
Got a call today from an Arbor Heights resident – near 44th SW and SW 102nd – who wanted to get the word out about someone who came to her door around 5 pm Monday. She told us he claimed to be raising money for Chief Sealth International High School – but she checked with the school today, and it does NOT have anyone doing door-to-door selling. She also called the police, explaining that after she told the solicitor she wasn’t interested, she watched him for a while, and when he noticed her watching, he started running, catching up with a car that was driving up and down the block. (Sorry, no descriptive info, she mainly wanted everyone to know that any such Sealth soliciting claim was bogus.)
Not a solicitor, but somebody going door-to-door – and just maybe, publishing a worried WSB’er’s tale will lead to reassurance that this was legit. Or not. Read on: Click to read the rest of Door-to-door concern: Legitimate ‘wreath-maker’?…
One day before Halloween, you might get a knock on the door from someone who’ll be looking for a food-drive donation, not a treat. Angel Laycock from the soccer club HPFC Eagles says that 3-5 pm this Sunday (October 30) they’ll be out on what they call “Trick or Can“:
Small groups of our club will be going around house to house to collect canned food and what we will do is send that canned food to three different food drives which include Highline Area Food Bank, White Center Food Bank, and West Seattle Food Bank. We will be in a couple different areas that include Normandy Park, Three Tree Point, North Admiral, and a few other local locations.
Participating players range in age from 10-17, Angel tells us, and he just wants to get the word out so that you’ll consider having a food donation available if you happen to get a visit. (And if nobody comes by, trust us, there are many other drives in the works to which you can contribute.)
Two more door-to-door alerts have come in, apparently from the same block – another report of solicitors saying they’re representing Comcast, but raising neighbors’ suspicions anyway. The Seattle Municipal Code restricts door-to-door sales to between 8 am and 9 pm (read the code here), and this all happened shortly before the end of that window. Read on: Click to read the rest of Door-to-door – and yard-to-yard – alert: Comcast again?…
Just received a door-to-door alert that, as its sender notes, could be legitimate, but the hour and the subject seemed odd to her; we also have had one in queue about a magazine seller. Read on for both:
Click to read the rest of Door-to-door alerts: Cable check-in; magazine sales…
Got two notes today/tonight about what sound like the same solicitors, who were the subject of a recent report, too – read on: Click to read the rest of Door-to-door alert: Solicitors targeting Genesee…
More nice weather, more door-to-door alerts. Tonight, three in West Seattle, and one from a WS woman who wants to put out a warning about what happened to her mom in Magnolia, just in case. Read on: Click to read the rest of Four door-to-door alerts, including one precautionary tale…
Two reader reports out of the WSB inbox tonight – first, a woman with a warning about a man she says pinched her tonight at West Seattle Summer Fest; second, a door-to-door alert – read on for both: Click to read the rest of 2 reader reports: Summer Fest pinch; door-to-door alert…
You might find a door-to-door political canvasser outside your home or apartment tomorrow night – and thanks to a heads-up from Diane, we can tell you in advance, they’re legitimate. They will be asking people to support a potential city ordinance requiring that employers provide paid sick days. The notice Diane shared says that canvassers will gather at Pioneer Coffee (2536 Alki SW) at 5:30 pm Thursday, heading out to West Seattle neighborhoods over the ensuing two hours.
Three reader reports we’ll classify as door-to-door alerts, although two weren’t solicitations so much as requests for help – both very similar, a man and child approaching people outside their homes in the Fairmount Springs area. Read on for all three reports: Click to read the rest of West Seattle door-to-door alerts: 3 reports – legit or not?…
For those following this project step by step: The land-use decisions for the West Seattle Trader Joe’s are indeed published today, as we reported the other day that they would be. Here’s the one for the main part of the project; here’s the one for additional parking spaces. Both include “determinations of non-significance” meaning no formal environmental review is needed. Both decisions (the docs with the fine print are linked from the notices our links point you to) have a 2-week window now for potential appeals; the construction permit also would have to be granted before work could begin, but permit-wise, they are two-thirds of the way there.
There’s Mother’s Day brunch, and there’s Mother’s Day breakfast in bed … and here’s something new (yet old-fashioned): A Mother’s Day pie social. In case you hadn’t already heard, one is planned at Village Green Perennial Nursery (10223 26th SW) on Sunday, 1-4 pm – with the price of admission a freshly baked homemade pie and a $5 donation for the White Center Food Bank. Village Green’s Vera Johnson is hosting along with Kate McDermott, and RSVPs are requested by Friday. More info on Vera’s “Dig It” website, and/or this Facebook event page.
As the weather warms up, you’re likely to get more activity on your doorstep. First – be aware that commercial solicitors are required to have licenses/IDs, and you don’t have to be shy about asking to see them, if you choose to answer the door. Second, if you put up a “No Solicitors” sign, solicitors who ignore it are breaking the law. (City rules on “residential sales” are here.) 2 door-to-door reports from the WSB inbox, ahead, plus a phone-scam alert, received via e-mail: Click to read the rest of West Seattle door-to-door alerts, plus a scam warning…
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