Door-to-Door Sales - worth the time to call? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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08-06-2011, 12:27
For the third time in a month, I just had someone knock on my door, trying to see me a meat package that "someone" cancelled an order on. I don't know if they're legit or not, they say the take debit/credit and LINK cards (IL Foodstamps), so it's not just a 'cash-only' deal.

But something doesn't seem right about folks going door to door selling meat out of the back of a pick-up truck, even one with a camper/cooler system.

Is it worth the time/effort to call the boys in blue over it? I know solicitation/licensing laws are different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but I'm not looking for the LEGAL advice, just the "common-sense" bit from you guys that deal with it day to day.


08-06-2011, 12:29
Depends on your local pd, we take solicitors seriously, many don't.

08-06-2011, 12:45
We get calls about things like this rather often. Usually it's kids selling magazine subscriptions. The pitch goes something like " I'm selling magazines for a contest. If I sell enough units to win the contest, then I earn a trip to Paris! Will you help me?" The kids are driven in from out-of state by their shady boss (who's usually on parole/probation) and dropped off in various neighborhoods; they all meet-up at a prearranged location at the end of the day. When we find the van full of kids they are usually good for several warrants. :supergrin:

Most municipalities have some sort of ordnance that regulates solicitation. I would not call 911; use the local non-emergency number to make a report. Often times they are coached to recite interstate commerce laws when confronted by LE. Whatever. If the salesperson(s) doesn't have a locally issued permit they get whacked.

08-06-2011, 12:48
I got "his friend's" oxycontin off the last solicitor I contacted. Oh, that and a warrant.

It's a quality of life issue that matters to me (I hate when they knock on my door), and I take it seriously when I'm working.

08-06-2011, 12:57
Worth a call to the non-emergency number, IMO. Some of these things are scams.

08-06-2011, 13:23
I went ahead and called. Yes, I called the non-emer dispatch, because it's not THAT big a thing, didn't need a SWAT response or anything. If it hadn't been so frequently lately, I wouldn't have bothered, I think, but 3 out of 4 weekends is a bit excessive.

Left my number, sometimes the PD follows up with the complainant, sometimes not. I didn't ask for a follow up, so we'll see.

08-06-2011, 13:44
IF you feel you have a reason to call then call, let the officer decide if its legit or not. In our county solicitors must register and have ID showing so or they are in violation. Lots of scams, burglars, rip offs, etc use this method to have a look.

08-06-2011, 14:50
Depends if your area has any laws about solicitors. If it's legal and they don't need permits, nothing could be done.

08-06-2011, 15:06
Many areas have no regulations on solicitors, if that is the case then there is nothing to be done.

08-06-2011, 15:20

Books and Magazine sale scams are huge. Sometimes you get the product, sometimes you don't.....but more often than not there is a thief in the crew walking around. They ask to use your bathroom or when you leave to get your purse, they grab valuables.

Or...when they are sure you aren't home they break in.

Lots of crews move around the country, spend a week at a time in a hotel in town and then move on. Usually 2 or 3 to a hotel room. Makes it hard to follow up on the burgs and thefts. The people doing this always have criminal records. They claim to be in high school or college, but never are. Sometimes they even claim to live in the area, but have a distinct accent from outside of the area.

These "salesmen" learn they never make any real money, they have to pay for their own hotel rooms and by the end of the day barely break even - so they start reverting back to petty crimes.

They are a pain in my side during the summer months.....Call the police if you have an ordinance against soliciting. Give a good description, last known direction, plate info if there is one, etc.

I wouldn't trust the meat in the back of some dude's pickup. I also wouldn't trust the speakers some guy is trying to sell as I am stopped at a traffic light or the "flat screen" TV that turns out to be an oven door.

08-06-2011, 16:24
I jam them up endlessly. They flock to my jurisdiction because folks have money. We require a county permit and soliciting without one is an arrestible offense. :tbo:

08-06-2011, 16:31
Yes. If they don't have a permit we issue a citation. Then when they come back next year and someone calls on them again, they will more than likely have a warrant because they never took care of the citation from last year.

08-06-2011, 23:04
Call... which I realize you already did. ;) The magazine sale scammers have been going nuts in my area this summer. We too have gotten warrant arrests from the "salesman" and always make it a point to find "the crew boss" and tell him to shut down the operation (they NEVER have a city solicitation permit) or they will receive a $100 ticket for every door they have knocked on.

08-06-2011, 23:32
There was a tractor trailer going through my place a few weeks ago that "tried to deliver a load to a warehouse, but it was full, so the boss told us to sell it rather than bring it back".

Picture a full-size tractor trailer, slowly rolling down a suburban street while 5 guys pounded on doors.

The fact that they left the factory with six guys in the truck that could then go door to door when the delivery was "refused" didn't make me the least bit doubtful of their veracity or anything...

08-07-2011, 00:34
My city has a City Ord that says to sell door to door you must register with our city.

We also have a City Ord that says if a no soliciting sign is posted at the front of the home and you kock or ring a door bell, you can be cited or arrested.

We follow up on the calls. It can be hit or miss for finding them. Many have warrants or give false ID.

We find that if we catch one and tell them to call their ride and tell the others we will cite and arrest, they leave town or we cite and arrest, then the rest leave town.

08-07-2011, 01:19
We take the calls seriously. There is a long history of door-to-door solicitors also casing and burglarizing houses in this area. Of all the illegal solicitors I contact, over 90% have a criminal record and over half have felony records. The meat sellers are one of the better scams on some of our seniors in our area.

Oh, it's a $250 fine for soliciting without a license in our city. All the companies have to do is pay a small fee to get registered but most play the game and won't.

08-07-2011, 02:21
I jam them up endlessly. They flock to my jurisdiction because folks have money. We require a county permit and soliciting without one is an arrestible offense. :tbo:

We're the same as Cochese here.... They are required to have a license issued from the City/County and they have time frames and other requirements to follow. So check with your local PD and see what the laws are there. As the guys have said many of these are scams. These guys also do this for burglaries too. We've had several groups that go door to door and give a bs sales pitch if you are home. If you're not they hop the fence and break in.... They usually are worth calling on and at least one is good for a warrant with the shady group that comes around here.

2-8 Marine
08-07-2011, 08:43
Many areas have no regulations on solicitors, if that is the case then there is nothing to be done.

I beg to differ . . . we were getting three to four soliciters at our door daily before I printed out a sign on my computer and posted on the front door. Believe it or not, it worked. Now most if not all dor-to-door pests read the sign and walk away. The sign reads; WE WILL NOT DEAL WITH ANYONE GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR. NO SOLICITERS, SALES PERSONS, CONTRACTORS, POLITICIANS, DONATION SEEKERS, BEGGERS, ETC . . .IF YOU'RE WONDERING IF THIS MEANS YOU, IT DOES!

08-07-2011, 09:30
Depends on your local pd, we take solicitors seriously, many don't.

So do we. Solicitation without having prior approval and a business license from city hall is an arrestable offense. If approved City Hall will issue them a picture ID that is to be worn where visible at all times when soliciting.

Upon first contact we issue a warning and document on a FI card that they were warned. Second time with no permit they are arrested.

We take it very seriously. I speculate that alot of our credit/debit fraudulent uses and residential burglaries come from people pretending to be solicitors.

Think about it. You knock on the door to see of anyone is home. Person answers you try to sell them some garbage and rip off their account numbers. No answer then you know they are not home. One looks out, the other forces the back door.

08-07-2011, 10:49
Oh and just to add about the meat sales trucks, in my area they are a good deal, and a few of our officers buy from them.

The magazine sales seem to be not worth it.

08-07-2011, 12:17
As said if you think you should call then call. Use the non-E number and let them decide if its important. Heck it might just tie in with something else. (same folks seen going door to door in area that had multiple break ins)

When my wife was in FL I was visiting and someone POUNDED on door at 10pm. They kept pounding and I kinda got ticked. Opened door and he reaches into bag. (did I mention I was ticked?) I took him across the hall into wall. Chewed him up one side/down the other. Seems he was selling some cleaning product. (I did NOT let him pull the spray bottel/who knows what is in it/dang easy way to blind someon)
I send him off and notify Police. Winds up (this was a controlled access community with 24 hr Police on site) Well the door to door folks were using FRS radios, had a van parked outside fence. (not sure if they fooled someone into openeing gate orig or wht)
They all got trespassed and tossed.