West Seattle Blog... » Door-to-door alert http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:44:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Reader report roundup: Broken window; trespasser/prowler; at the door and then on the run… http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/reader-report-roundup-broken-window-trespasserprowler-at-the-door-and-then-on-the-run/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/reader-report-roundup-broken-window-trespasserprowler-at-the-door-and-then-on-the-run/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 09:39:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284140 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:

From Sarah in Highland Park:

A friend of ours stopped by our place to check on our dog and there was a man in our boat and his car was in our driveway. When she questioned him, he said that it was his friend’s boat, which was obviously not true. He was trespassing.

The car was a teal Buick, license plate starting with AKT.

Finally, in the Puget Ridge area, around 16th/Myrtle, a door-to-door report from Richard:

Just before 7 pm (Friday) I had 2 teens knock on my door. I asked them what they wanted & they said they were soliciting donations for their school football team. Not knowing if their activities were legitimate or not, I asked for identification of their program … they got very nervous, argumentative, & when I pressed them for more info they both took off running. I snapped a quick picture of the two of them & called 911. Again, I have no idea if their intentions were sincere but when they ran off the way that they did I figured I’d let the police handle it. No idea what transpired, if anything.

If you are involved with or know of a legit door-to-door campaign happening in the area, a heads-up is always good – editor@westseattleblog.com – we’d be happy to mention “xx is canvassing in the area” in daily previews, as we’ve done in the past when notified.

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Door-to-door sightings: ‘Interested in selling your house?’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/door-to-door-sightings-interested-in-selling-your-house/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/door-to-door-sightings-interested-in-selling-your-house/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 02:26:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277330 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.

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Door-to-door in West Seattle: What you need to know about the rules http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/door-to-door-in-west-seattle-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-rules/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/door-to-door-in-west-seattle-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-rules/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:20:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=266059 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).

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West Seattle Crime Watch: About the Admiral arrest… http://westseattleblog.com/2013/04/west-seattle-crime-watch-about-the-admiral-arrest/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/04/west-seattle-crime-watch-about-the-admiral-arrest/#comments Sat, 06 Apr 2013 01:01:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=147335 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.

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Door-to-door alert: No, WSB is NOT doing a survey http://westseattleblog.com/2012/10/door-to-door-alert-no-wsb-is-not-doing-a-survey/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/10/door-to-door-alert-no-wsb-is-not-doing-a-survey/#comments Fri, 05 Oct 2012 16:59:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=124957 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) – editor@westseattleblog.com or 206-293-6302 if you don’t want to comment here. Thanks!

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Door-to-door alert – from Olympia: ‘Beware of these solicitors’ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/06/door-to-door-alert-from-olympia-beware-of-these-solicitors/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/06/door-to-door-alert-from-olympia-beware-of-these-solicitors/#comments Tue, 05 Jun 2012 01:12:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=111044 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”:

Guess who is back in town? It’s the door-to-door magazine sellers from out of state who appear on doorsteps claiming outrageously priced subscriptions will help fund “second chance” opportunities for inner city youth. The Washington Attorney General’s Office has issued warnings about such visitors before, and is again alerting consumers to beware of these solicitors and think twice before buying their magazines.

The Attorney General’s Office has received numerous complaints from victimized consumers who paid $50 to $784 for magazine subscriptions purchased from door-to-door sellers. Consumers say they were touched by the solicitors’ stories and believed their purchases would be for a good cause. Solicitors claim to be earning money for college, working toward a better job, receiving points for a free trip, or contributing proceeds to help homeless youth.

“Unfortunately, another common theme is that time and again, consumers throughout the country never receive the magazines they purchased, or hear from the sellers again, and have no idea what happened to their money.” said Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Many of these solicitors claim to work for “business or job training” companies that send young adults door to door to give them a “fresh start” on life. In a recent complaint to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, one seller claimed to represent a company called “Strictly Business.” The consumer did his own checking and found the company was based in Texas. It had a Better Business Bureau rating of “F” for failing to respond to complaints and failing to deliver magazines.

“Besides the potential of falling victim to fraud, there are many other risks involved, such as threats to personal safety or the possibility of being a victim of identity theft. It all makes buying items from strangers who knock on your door a bad idea,” added McKenna.

Consumers should always check out a charity with the Secretary of State prior to making a donation. A state search engine listing registered charities is available at www.secstate.wa.gov/charities.

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West Seattle door-to-door alerts: Raising $ to travel? http://westseattleblog.com/2012/05/west-seattle-door-to-door-alerts-raising-to-travel/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/05/west-seattle-door-to-door-alerts-raising-to-travel/#comments Sun, 20 May 2012 01:53:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=109613 Solicitors still seem to be out in force. Two more reader reports have come in – read on:

From Steve:

At around 11:40 a.m., we had a couple of young men knock on our door and try to get us to buy magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser for an Australian trip for the UW rugby team. They wouldn’t show us ID and didn’t have any material to give us (other than a receipt if we committed to giving them money right there) so we sent them on their way. A check of the UW Rugby website doesn’t indicate that the team is planning an overseas trip and the name of the guy who did most of the talking did not appear on the team rosters we could find on the web.

I live near Andover and 44th. I called the SPD non-emergency line and will file a police report. I don’t know if they were casing but they were pretty aggressively trying to keep the conversation going. Very friendly — I didn’t feel threatened but I’m sure they could also charm money out of neighbors so I figured I should report it if it’s indeed a scam.

And from Tom:

We live in Gatewood near the Myrtle Park Reservoir. A young man came by, in his early twenties wearing a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. He claimed to be raising money for a trip to Spain by selling books that would be sent to various children’s charities. His story did not not make a lot of sense so I sent him on his way.

As noted here before, the city rules for door-to-door soliciting, aka “residential sales,” are here. Among the big ones: They need licenses and IDs; 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. For a summary of the rules, check this report from our friends at MyBallard.com.

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West Seattle door-to-door alert: ‘Brazen’ solicitor http://westseattleblog.com/2012/05/west-seattle-door-to-door-alert-brazen-solicitor/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/05/west-seattle-door-to-door-alert-brazen-solicitor/#comments Thu, 17 May 2012 03:41:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=109240 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:”

This afternoon I had a disturbing experience involving someone soliciting (casing) door-to-door. I live in Gatewood Gardens around 41st an SW Holly and was working from home today with my car visible in the driveway. At about 2:30-3:00 the doorbell rang, I looked through the peephole and didn’t recognize the person so called through the door that I don’t answer to strangers. I have a massive cedar slab front door and a pretty soft voice so I’m relatively sure that the person didn’t hear me. I looked through the peephole again and notice that he was flipping my doormat up with his shoe, I can only guess he was hoping to find a key.

It was an incredibly creepy feeling to actually watch someone deliberately seek out a way to gain access though I’m sure it’s standard operating procedure. The guy left the porch and went down the front walk, I went to my bedroom window and called out to him absolutely did not want to give the impression that there was no one home. He was somewhere between 5’ 10” – 6’, Caucasian, wearing khakis, a polo type shirt that was yellow or light orange and a red and black ball cap, brown hair and had startling blue eyes. He gave me a spiel about collecting for a charity benefitting Police Officers, and showed me a notebook with some flyers encased in plastic, he sounded very vague about what the purpose of the organization was or how the contributions were used. I told him I choose to give in other ways and he gave a deep sigh and went on his way. Due to the angle of the window I couldn’t see if he hit up any other houses but I know my next-door neighbors were also home.

This guy’s boldness was definitely troubling – I’m looking into other security measures though you would think the 900 ADT signs in the front and backyards would be some deterrent!

A reminder that if you think someone is suspicious, police would rather hear from you and – if they’re not on life-safety calls – confirm the person is not; we had a “casing?” report here recently that was verified by police as an actual solicitor, since they had already checked the guy out. Also one note re: Andrea’s account – police do recommend that even if you don’t want to answer the door, do make some noise to let the person know someone is home (such as, shout, SORRY, CAN’T COME TO THE DOOR), otherwise, if they ARE a burglar, you might find yourself face-to-face with them shortly.

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Door-to-door alerts: Solicitor reports, and the rules http://westseattleblog.com/2012/05/door-to-door-alerts-solicitor-reports-and-the-rules/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/05/door-to-door-alerts-solicitor-reports-and-the-rules/#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 05:42:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=107612 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:

First, Keith reports what he believes to have been a case of casing rather than selling:

Caught two men in their early 20s casing our house near 40th and Dakota as my partner and I pulled out from the alley. They quickly lit cigarettes as we sat in the alley for a moment. Then when pulled out into the street to see where they were headed, one of them waved me over to ask “which way is Alaska?” They claimed to be out in the neighborhood selling magazines, but had no ID, clipboard, bags, etc. Called it in to the non-emergency number. Both Caucasian, with close-cropped brown hair, one in a black hoodie.

NW in Belvidere wrote:

Just wanted to say (with a bit of embarrassment) that I think I just fell victim to a scam and I’d like to get the word out to prevent others from doing the same. Two youths came to the door with a routine about selling magazine subscriptions and books in order to win a trip to Rome. They were very quick talkers and gave a whole spiel about learning public speaking and that sort of thing. The first bit of the routine was inquiring about my career and supposedly they get points based on the people they meet in various careers. They then proceeded with the sales pitch for magazine & book sales with options to get the subscription for myself or donate it to the troops or VA hospitals. I am embarrassed to admit I gave them money (not the full $40 for a magazine subscription they wanted) but still…

After they left – he looked up the company name, Blue Diamond, and discovered an “F” with the Better Business Bureau, plus a report from one month ago that its two founders were in legal trouble.

An Arbor Heights resident also e-mailed to say he was solicited to buy magazines from somebody from a different company that he looked up and found disturbing information about. (We couldn’t find that information corroborated online, so we’re not using the company’s name.)

Then there’s W, who says his neighborhood has had multiple waves of solicitors:

We have just had the third group of young adults in three days trying to sell us magazines. The first and second group wanted to meet 15 non-violent people in the neighborhood for an assignment and then out came the plastic coated magazine cards while the third couple had a different scam. They wanted money for a trip to Prague for a Youth Leadership Conference in June. Both of them were U of W students and in the Foster school of Business. They “lived down the street” and most of the neighbors didn’t want the magazines and just wanted to donate money. When asked for ID and City of Seattle permit to sell they had neither. We called U of W School of Business and they confirmed there was a conference in July/August. There had been other calls from Mercer Island last week asking the same questions. Beware

The city rules for door-to-door soliciting, aka “residential sales,” are here. Among the big ones: They need licenses and IDs; 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. For a summary of the rules, check this report from our friends at MyBallard.com.

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2 West Seattle door-to-door alerts: ‘Free meat’; ‘paper routes’ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/04/2-west-seattle-door-to-door-alerts-free-meat-paper-routes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/04/2-west-seattle-door-to-door-alerts-free-meat-paper-routes/#comments Fri, 13 Apr 2012 14:15:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=105979 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:

First – Dennis sent a note last night saying that neighbors of his reported that “a couple people knocked on their back door, on the alley side of the house, and asked if they wanted some free meat? And an argument ensued… they eventually left without any further issues.” (He didn’t mention which neighborhood, so we’ve sent a followup question.)

And received this morning from Lynne:

This may be too late to be helpful but last night around 7:00 pm a young man was going door to door on 44th Ave SW near Charlestown. I responded but did not open the door. He asked if we got “the paper” and said he was “checking the paper routes”. He had no visible ID nor did I ask. He was about 5′ 8″, white, close cut blond hair, green-ish eyes. He was wearing a blue jacket, blue jeans and blue and white skate style athletic shoes. I watched him knock on the neighbor’s door but they did not answer. He did not seem to have any “equipment” to be performing a survey such as a pen, clipboard or visible hand held device nor did he take notes of any kind after visiting either home. We are renting this home short term right now while our kitchen is being renovated so this may be perfectly normal activity but new to us. I thought it may be worthwhile to mention.

Reminder – commercial solicitors are supposed to have ID to show. (For charity soliciting, it’s not required.)

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Door-to-door alert of sorts: Evening lease-seeker? http://westseattleblog.com/2012/04/door-to-door-alert-of-sorts-evening-lease-seeker/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/04/door-to-door-alert-of-sorts-evening-lease-seeker/#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2012 08:51:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=105447 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).

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Reader reports: Scooter stolen; suspicious visitor at the door http://westseattleblog.com/2012/03/reader-reports-scooter-stolen-suspicious-visitor-at-the-door/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/03/reader-reports-scooter-stolen-suspicious-visitor-at-the-door/#comments Mon, 26 Mar 2012 03:43:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=104285 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.

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Door-to-door alert: Non-electronic ‘phishing’? http://westseattleblog.com/2012/02/door-to-door-alert-non-electronic-phishing/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/02/door-to-door-alert-non-electronic-phishing/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2012 01:51:31 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=101268 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.

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Door-to-door alert: School says it’s NOT soliciting http://westseattleblog.com/2012/02/door-to-door-alert-school-says-its-not-soliciting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2012/02/door-to-door-alert-school-says-its-not-soliciting/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2012 20:25:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=100832 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.)

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Door-to-door concern: Legitimate ‘wreath-maker’? http://westseattleblog.com/2011/11/door-to-door-concern-legitimate-wreath-maker/ http://westseattleblog.com/2011/11/door-to-door-concern-legitimate-wreath-maker/#comments Mon, 07 Nov 2011 05:39:33 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=90820 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:

I am usually quite cautious with solicitors but I uncharastically let me guard down today when this nice but sketchy looking man smoking a cigarette knocked on my door this afternoon.

Before I opened the door I asked who it was and he said a neighbor, from down the street. I opended the door and he had a black lab (with a scarf around his neck) & asked me if he could come back and cut holly branches off my tree for wreaths he was making for a Northwest Harvest Auction. I didn’t recogonize him but not only did I say sure, come by anytime but I gave him my name. It would be nice to believe that he was a nice man doing a nice thing but I just don’t trust people anymore unless I really know them. I regret the whole encounter.

He said his black lab was Lucy and his name was Leroy. White male 6ft, standard build, dirty blonde beard, NW Construction worker look. I am so suscipious of his intentions and now so worried about if and when he comes back. Please post to warn the Arbor Heights neighborhood. I hestitate to give my exact location but I’m on 98th between 37th and 39th Ave SW.

Foolish Arbor Heights Neighbor

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