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South Wmpt PD Warns of Door to Door Solicitors.
By Kathy Kolb
July 10, 2014
***** SOLICITORS - NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS *****
Multiple locations in South Williamsport
Starting after 11:00 am today, South Williamsport Police received numerous complaints through headquarters, Borough Hall and the Lycoming County Communications Center regarding a number of individuals going door-to-door "selling" magazines for college and to gain points towards various trips such as "Rome".
Over a four hour period, officers had contact with a total of 11 individuals representing Double O Enterprises. Their driver dropped off teams of two throughout various areas in South Williamsport. Some residents reported a few to be rude and seeking personal information.
A report was taken that two individuals knocked on a door and got no answer. They tried a door knob, finding it locked and the looked under the door mat, apparently looking for a key. No entry was made. It was not confirmed that the same solicitors were involved but they were reportedly in the same area.
Only one of them was from Pennsylvania. The others were from New Jersey, West Virginia, Florida, Texas, Wyoming and Washington. Some had the same story of selling magazines to earn point for trips and "improving" their public speaking for college. None of the individuals had obtained solicitation permits, some did not have any company identification and a few had no identification at all. While investigating two of the individuals at W. Mountain Ave. & Jaculin Ave., their driver pulled up in a 15 passenger, white Ford Econoline van with Ohio registration. Most of the individuals had been picked up. One of the individuals was found to have warrants from out of state but the arresting agency would not extradite. All of the individuals were sternly warned that any further attempted sales without permits would result in arrests and requesting maximum fines of $1000.00. All were then ordered to leave the borough. They were also informed that the other municipalities in this county have similar solicitation ordinances requiring permits.
We learned after we released them that some were collecting money for churches. Surrounding police agencies were provided their information. We also found that other counties were having very similar transient sales people and seeking information on anyone involved. These agencies were also provided the same information.
Because of incidents like this, we require solicitation permits for every person going door-to-door selling any products or collecting money for any reason. South Williamsport ordinance requires solicitors to provide a completed application along with a criminal history obtained through the Pennsylvania State Police. Solicitors must be in possession of the approved permit and must display company issued photo ID.
Other departments & municipalities also had issues with separate groups today.
If you have any question if someone is abiding by the ordinance, please contact the police. If an officer is not at the station, call 570-433-4360 to have a dispatcher notify an officer to contact you. Always use 911 if it is an emergency.