Door-to-door alert: Door-knocking with nothing in hand

Kate shares a Genesee Hill sighting – read on:

I just thought I’d share a suspicious door-to-door visitor that I saw on 49th between Oregon and Genesee today. It was around 1 pm and a 5’3″- 5’4″ African American girl in jeans and a tan/brown jacket knocked on our door. I went to look out the peephole right after she knocked and she was already leaving to go down the street to the next house. She left no flier and wasn’t carrying anything (clipboard, papers, bag) with her. She also left quickly after knocking on the neighbor’s door. Seemed suspicious enough to share.

26 Replies to "Door-to-door alert: Door-knocking with nothing in hand"

  • mark October 12, 2009 (3:05 pm)

    Sounds like the same woman who knock on our door yesterday (39th and Stevens)

  • hollyplace October 12, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    I have a friend that had a woman come to her front door a couple of weeks ago, and a man broke into her back door while she was answering the front door. Be on the lookout.

  • margaritaville October 12, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    Sounds like the same woman who knocked on our door yesterday afternoon (39th and Hanford) asking if I was the Diva of the household.

  • Tyler Welch October 12, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    2 SPD units were stopped along Graham near 46th speaking with two well dressed individuals, they spoke with them for about 15min and then proceeded towards California. Not sure if they were door to door salespeople or not, maybe they didn’t have the proper documentation and SPD told them to move along?

  • Alison October 12, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    When my husband was home yesterday a male came to our door proclaiming to be selling magazines, with nothing in hand. Hmmmm. Strange, very strange.

  • Greg October 12, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    I saw a black man with a woman that meets that description at 51st/Admiral at 12:20PM on Sunday. The man was carrying a full backpack, and the woman was taking pictures down 51st ave with a digital camera.

    I took a picture of the couple on my cell phone, law enforcement if you’re interested in it please let me know.

    I actually tried submitting this info from the bus via texting CRIMES/tip486, but never received the supposed auto-response. Has anyone had any luck with that?

  • karisue October 12, 2009 (8:30 pm)

    I saw her standing in our alley just off of Genesee and 48th at about 5pm. She looked uncomfortable and suspicious. She was wearing black jeans and a brown fleece like jacket.

  • Maple leaf October 12, 2009 (8:37 pm)

    Odd-Sounds exactly like the dinner time vistor who rang our doorbell, knocked a couple times and left promptly when I cracked open the door and said we had just started dinner. I expected a sales pitch but heard none. No clipboard. No flyers. No ID. This was in Maple Leaf, in the 90s NE between 12th & 15th avenues. It may have been last Friday evening about 7:00.

  • Ed October 12, 2009 (9:08 pm)

    SPD responded today when our 9th grader called for help after two young men came to the house and pounded hard and persistently against the door, shortly after she had walked home from the metro bus stop, just after school. These were the two fellows spotted at 46th and Graham. I know because I arrived just as SPD was sending them on their way. I took their photos. They weren’t too happy about that, but if you can pound on my door, I can take your photo. Our girl was terrified that they were trying to break into the house. It was not a polite “is anyone home?” sort of knock. SPD explained that they were magazine peddlers. As I understood the situation, they were inner city youth from somewhere else in the country, employed by a “firm” in Gig Harbor that sends them into the suburbs during the day when the wage earners are sure not to be home, to sell magazines. Evidently they had ID that didn’t flag anything in the computer but didn’t have a local city license. Does anybody know what exactly in the way of licensing is required for door-to-door sales? And what is the penalty for not having it? Can we get together and encourage the City Council to increase the fee AND penalties?

    Many thanks to SPD for responding so quickly, and for sending a female officer to speak with our girl.

  • MLJ October 12, 2009 (9:55 pm)

    Two guys came to our door tonight with the magazine rap. I talked to them for a while just out of curiosity. One fellow was “training” the other, both from out of town.
    I was a bit surprised by how slick the pitch was, and even though they were annoyingly persistent, they weren’t threatening or abusive.
    I informed them that our block watch doesn’t support door-to-door businesses and they should try elsewhere.
    This was on 40th/Genesee…

  • anon. October 12, 2009 (9:56 pm)

    Put a “No Soliciting” sign on your door and they won’t knock.

  • Brian October 12, 2009 (10:02 pm)

    Highland Park: Last Friday I had 2 Hispanic young men claiming to be from the Seattle Times. The one on my side of the street was trying to calm my dog down so he could get closer to my carport. When I confronted him he said he wanted to know where I wanted my FREE Paper left. I sent him on his way and watched his partner case houses on the other side of the street. They had nothing in their hands to write down where the supposed paper was suppose to be left. I called 911 and they seemed not too interested in my report even though I was told another citizen had called in with a concern. By the time the operator had taken my name and address twice I went outside to check on the suspects progress and they were long gone. My street has had multiple break ins in the last couple of months so I was VERY surprised at the lackadaisical response to my call.

  • WsGuy October 12, 2009 (10:40 pm)

    As for the “No Soliciting” sign, I’ve had one for well over a year and they choose to ignore it. Quite frankly, it absolutely pisses me off that someone would continue up my walk to solicit me after obviously seeing the sign. Whatever. I think that if you want to solicit in Seattle, fine, its a $5,000 permit fee.

  • carrie ann October 12, 2009 (10:43 pm)

    anon: Not always the case. I just put up a brand new, shiny, red metal “No Soliciting” sign last week (the other one had become faded and weathered) and have since already had 3 people knock on our door for various things despite it being clearly visible. Some people either truly don’t know what it means or will claim ignorance and continue their spiel. “Oh. Yeah. But this won’t take much time!” or “It’s for a good cause…”

  • Hamburgler October 12, 2009 (10:45 pm)

    Sounds like you could use a Pitbull!

  • Jack Loblaw October 13, 2009 (6:06 am)

    Here is the text of our “No Soliciting” sign which works — we have NEVER had anyone who was not invited knock on our door since this sign was installed ( along with security cameras ) :


    This means that unless you are invited do not knock on nor ring our doorbell

    No Selling, No Announcing, No Door hangers, No Introducing Yourself, No Marketing, No Surveys, No Anything UNLESS YOU WERE INVITED

    This property is under 24 hour a day video surveillance and the second that you entered our yard your image was being recorded off site.

  • WSB October 13, 2009 (6:27 am)

    Did you make it yourself or have it printed up or did you actually find one with all that text available somewhere? If it’s self-printed sounds like something we should put on a downloadable template and link here :) – TR

  • looking for logic October 13, 2009 (7:28 am)

    This summer a white female & a white male were soliciting about security systems. I didn’t think anything about it. I stupidly stated I didn’t need one. The neighbors dogs bark like crazy they asked if they were mine, I intelligently responded yes. I have an old cheap small TV in my front living room and I did joke that most of us were so stretched in our mortgages that we didn’t have anything worth stealing.

    I don’t know if they were scouting for burglary prospects, but our neighborhood has many self employed, only 1 Mercedes, and we’re an unassuming bunch. I’m keeping my lights on at night, I am self employed and have an unpredictable schedule, and I have a housekeeper couple times a month and lawn guy so I hope the unpredictability discourages any thieves.

  • Jack Loblaw October 13, 2009 (7:39 am)

    I modified a sign that I found on the web and printed it on card stock. It is located right next to the door intercom button directly below our door security camera — kind of gets the point across that we are serious about security —

  • bsmomma October 13, 2009 (8:46 am)

    I’ve mentioned this before but my Grandpa always had a “Wet Paint” sign on his porch. No one ever bothered him. I LOVE Loblaw’s sign! We have a No Soliciting sign at the bottom of our steep (and dangerous)windy walkway as well as on our door. So far we’ve had 5 solicitors stop by within 2 months. I gurantee if one of them tripped and fell down the rockery, I’d be responsible.

  • Buddsmom October 13, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    Hamburgler…. I’ve got one and it works like a charm!!!

  • sb October 13, 2009 (1:29 pm)

    I got the black gentleman at my door a week or two ago. He opened with, “Are you the king of the household or the prince?” Similar to the Diva comment above.

    He claimed he was selling magazines and learning to speak more clearly and interact with others. He said the program was to give “knuckleheads” like him a second chance.

    This was on a houseboat dock over on Eastlake. Several people reported this and some emails flew around, but I haven’t heard anything else.

  • WsGuy October 13, 2009 (2:17 pm)


    This means that unless you are invited do not knock on nor ring our doorbell

    No Selling, No Announcing, No Door hangers, No Introducing Yourself, No Marketing, No Surveys, No Anything UNLESS YOU WERE INVITED

    This property is under 24 hour a day video surveillance and the second that you entered our yard your image was being recorded off site.

    That is fantastic!!

  • HM October 13, 2009 (3:22 pm)

    There’s an African American male with black pants, navy jacket and necktie roaming the neighborhood right now on 37th between Hines and Handford. He came to my door, I answered and he told me he wasn’t “the neigborhood burgler” then he asked my name. I didn’t give it to him, so he began giving me the names of my neighbors, saying he had spoken to them. It was very creepy. I told him I was not interested in whatever he was peddling and he should leave. He wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I slammed the door. I called 911, but still have not seen any police drive by and it’s been about an hour. Good luck everyone! Get out your guns! It looks like we’re on our own to protect ourselves!

  • kilo October 13, 2009 (4:43 pm)

    OMG! Where are the police? Oh that’s right, they don’t have a responsibilty to protect individuals only society as a whole.

  • Rob October 15, 2009 (10:50 am)

    Wednesday a black woman (girl) who fits the description from earlier posts knocked on my door and asked was I “the king of the castle”. I immediately remembered her from a few months ago when she asked the same question. She carried no papers, clipboard or badge. I told her she has been here before and I was not interested. She started saying something about getting out of the inner city etc etc. I told her to leave and she did. I did not get a good feeling from her and did not trust her. I watched her walk the rest of my block (Charlestown & 53rd) without stopping at any other houses. Be on the lookout for her and let her know she is being watched. This is one of the only ways to deter this kind of snooping or casing of our neighborhoods.

Sorry, comment time is over.