Boulder Police Department encouraging citizen involvement
Door-to-door soliciting crimes have increased during the fall months for the past two years. Now, the Boulder Police Department is asking citizens for help stopping this coming fall.
In these two years, 12 people have been arrested for soliciting without a license or identity theft, but Boulder police believe it happens more often than reported.
“With a large number of people moving in the fall to Boulder, there are people that use that as an easy target,” said Deputy Chief David Hayes. “We don’t get a lot of reports, but this is still a serious issue that residents should know about.”
The solicitors, in most cases, work for legitimate companies, but don’t have the required license to sell door-to-door.
“It used to be that companies only needed a generic license, but now each individual needs their own license with their own name on it,” said Hayes.
Those solicitors who are trying to set up a scam, typically ask for payment in checks or credit cards and will often want to enter the home to see what valuables are available.
“The homeowner should never let the solicitor enter,” said Hayes. “Just know who you are dealing with. If you need a magazine or cable, you can set these services up through the phone or Internet.”
Some students are glad to see the police creating awareness about this new crime.
“I do worry that they will get a chance to get in and try to pull a scam. I think it is really good that the police are informing the residents about it because I never knew it happened that much,” said Lindsey Anderson, senior communication major.
Others don’t seem as worried.
“I am not too worried about it. I feel if the people are well informed about the solicitor scams then there won’t be a problem,” said Lance Gonzalez, sophomore business major. “I am already careful about buying from solicitors, but now I will make sure to research the company or person a little further if I intend on buying something from them.”
Despite these split opinions, police say every resident should be safe when dealing with solicitors and gave some handy tips to follow:
1) Do not allow any solicitor to come inside your home for any reason. Allowing strangers inside your home can compromise your personal safety or allow them an opportunity to view valuables in your home.
2) Be wary of solicitors who are overly aggressive, persistent, intimidating or threatening. If you experience this, please call the police.
3) Be careful with how much information about yourself you divulge to a solicitor during conversation.
4) Use appropriate caution before making purchases. Police do not recommend residents making money transactions on an initial visit. Ask for a business card and contact the business at a future time.
5) Be wary of attempts to get you to commit to a financial transaction immediately. Think about the service and check the company through the Better Business Bureau.
6) The Boulder PD urges residents to contact the police at 303-441-3333 if they believe someone is soliciting in their neighborhood without the required permit or if there is something suspicious about the solicitors.