Sequim police are warning residents to be on the lookout for vehicle prowlers and door-to-door salespeople.
In a press release Officer Maris Turner said there have been 20 vehicle prowls reported in Sequim since July 29.
Most instances were reported on Fir, Alder, Prairie, Hammond, Maple and Spruce Streets, South 4th Avenue and Helen Court, she said.
“While there has not been substantial loss to victims of these vehicle prowls, there have been a significant number of occurrences in our city in a short time frame,” she said.
Turner said most of the vehicles prowled were unlocked.
To deter a prowler, keep cars locked and remove all valuable items including check books, CDs, jewelry, mail and garage door openers, she said.
Door-to-door salespeople soliciting without permits have also appeared recently, she said.
Two 19-year-old women from out of state were arrested Aug. 3 on suspicion of violating the Sequim municipal code, which requires permits for each day of solicitation, she said. The code doesn’t include religious, political or charitable organizations.
“According to the reports the peddlers/sellers told a wide range of stories, from getting points from their sales towards elaborate trips to study across the globe, money for college, earning points to be sent to Florence, Italy to be trained on becoming a chef for the Olive Garden, (or) that they would be paying for books to give to sick children,” Turner said.
Turner said solicitors are required to display their permits on their outer clothing. Jodie Coulson, the block watch captain of Cherry Blossom Estates, said one of the young women knocked on her door and said she was selling magazines and books to raise money for an internship with the B.B.C. The woman talked fast and said she had a 5-month-old baby and was trying to finish her degree at University of Washington, Coulson said.
“It just didn’t ring true so we said no, we weren’t interested,” Coulson said.
Soon neighbors began to call with similar stories, she said. They decided to call the police, who responded quickly, she said.
“If it weren’t for the block watch it probably wouldn’t have been reported,” she said.
To report an unlawful solicitor call the police department at 683-7227.
Victims of unlawful solicitation should file a police report, a complaint at www.fraud.org, contact their bank and contact a major credit reporting agency to place a fraud alert on credit accounts.
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