We’ve had several readers write us about some shady door-to-door magazine salespeople in the past week across Queen Anne. Last June we provided information on solicitors from SPD, and our SPD contact has confirmed this information is still up-to-date.
A key point to note is that there are no licensed door to door magazine sales in the City of Seattle. Here are SPD’s tips to keep in mind as the solicitors make the rounds in our neighborhood.
Tips from SPD:
This is the peak time of year for door-to-door sales, including those using traveling sales crews. There are many legitimate companies in this industry with professionally trained salespeople, selling between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00pm, and a long history of law-abiding customer service. There are, however, less reputable companies in this business willing to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals who trust people knocking at their door. Sometimes residents forget to practice good personal safety.
Seattle Police officers respond to calls from citizens concerned about door-to-door salespeople. The results have ranged from the officers checking identification and sending the seller to the City of Seattle Revenue & Consumer Affairs office for their business license, to arrests of individuals posing as residential sellers, but wanted on warrants. There have also been arrests for aggressive behavior, threats made against the resident, burglaries, and assaults.
Homeowners may consider posting a sign indicating “No agents,” “No peddlers,” or “No Solicitors.” In Seattle, it is unlawful for any residential seller to attempt to gain admittance for the purpose of selling at any residence displaying one of these signs.
With these facts in mind, what should you do when a person knocks at your door?
BEFORE OPENING YOUR DOOR: LOOK FOR PROPER IDENTIFICATION. Acknowledge the knock since ignoring it may lead to an attempted burglary. It is preferable to speak to strangers through your door. In Seattle, all door-to-door sellers must display the residential sales identification which includes the seller’s photograph on their outer clothing. The residential sales agent’s license has the name of the licensee as well as the agent. It shall be endorsed with the type of product or service being sold. The license is only valid for the product or service specified. If you have any questions about whether a company is properly licensed, call the City of Seattle’s Office of Revenue & Consumer Affairs at 206-684-8136.
DISCLOSURE REQUIRED: Each residential seller shall, immediately upon contacting the prospective buyer, disclose their name, company and the product or service represented. If requested to do so, they shall leave the premises immediately. If the individual does not leave, or if an attempt to gain access is made by asking to use the bathroom, the phone or get a drink of water, refuse the request and ask the individual to leave. If you feel intimidated, pressured, or threatened at any time, call 911.
USE GOOD JUDGEMENT: It is safer not to allow the salesperson into your home. You are encouraged to avoid paying immediately. Do not give the salesperson cash or a check, as it may be pocketed and you will never receive the product ordered. Instead, find out from the seller how you can order directly from the company or receive the bill upon receipt of the product/service. If the salesperson is concerned about losing their commission for the sale, offer to provide their name when placing your order.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: In Seattle, if you make a purchase, the salesperson must tell you of your right to cancel the order and the contract must include a statement regarding the right to cancel. For each sale of ten dollars or more, the seller must provide a receipt or contract to the purchaser. Do not leave any blanks on your contract. Be sure the contract or receipt is dated and that it states the terms of the transaction, the amount of payment made and the name and address of the residential seller. It must also include a notice informing the buyer of their right to cancel the order any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of the transaction. A completed Notice of Cancellation (in duplicate) must be provided to the purchaser at the time they purchase from the seller. You do not need to provide a reason for canceling your order.
DO NOT GIVE IN TO HIGH PRESSURE TACTICS: Never be afraid to say “NO!” If a salesperson in your home tries to pressure you into buying their product, terminate your conversation with them. Take the time to contact the company directly if you still have interest in the product or service. Avoid making an immediate purchase in order to receive a “free gift.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When should you call 911? If an unlicensed sales person shows up at your residence, call 911 and report it. Calling as soon as possible with a good description, direction the suspicious person is traveling, and address will all help officers locate the suspect(s).
And, as a general reminder, it’s not just the non-licensed solicitors that are targeting our neighborhood. Car prowls and break-ins are still occurring with too-regular frequency. For any suspicious activities or people, SPD advises calling 911 as soon as possible.
Here are the key items of information that help SPD when you call 911:
Good description of the person
Location – street name, number or hundred block, or address
Direction of travel
Identifying features and/or items: race, gender, height, weight, age, clothing, and any distinguishing features. Are they carrying a backpack? What color is it?
Remember to report all crimes and suspicious activity to SPD by calling 911 or the non-emergency number (206.625.5011).
Queen Anne Square is a set of two 5-story commercial buildings at the corner of W Mercer and 2nd Ave W. Suspect is at large, custodians are safe, and investigation remains open. See the SPD Blotter report below for full details:
A burglar remains at large this morning after a cleaning crew found him inside their building in Queen Anne Square.
At approximately 1:18 a.m. officers responded to a 911 report of an occupied commercial burglary in the 200 block of West Mercer Street. Preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect broke out a window to make entry into the building. A custodial crew subsequently found the suspect inside their building at which point the suspect fled from them.
Prior to the arrival of responding officers, who made it to the scene in under four minutes, the suspect broke out another window and fled the area on foot. It is unknown at this time if anything was stolen from the building.
Canine units responded to the scene however, their track was unsuccessful and the suspect remains at large.
The suspect is described as a black male in his 30′s, 5’9″ tall, 220 pounds, last seen wearing a mask or hoodie over his face, a black jacket and black baggy jeans.
Anyone with information about this incident or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call 911 or Seattle Police and refer to this incident. Anonymous tips are welcome.
This remains an active and on-going investigation.
The bank has had two robberies since October, the latest occuring on January 29th. The suspect was captured on video, and his photo posted on KIRO’s Facebook page led to a Verizon employee recognizing him.
Local Queen Anne shop charley+may was robbed this morning, December 18, at 3:49am. The thief got away with $7500 worth of merchandise and left a broken window in his wake – shopkeeper Lauren Formicola saw the suspect in her shop just as SPD arrived, and the suspect fled.
However, the K-9 unit was called in and saved the day! The dog found the suspect in an alley, with the Charley+May merchandise.
According to Lauren:
“This Christmas was almost ruined for charley + may but the Seattle PD saved the day with the K9 unit. Mark Wong and his dog, Ziva, had worked a full shift but they came over anyway in the middle of the night.
Officer Seelig was key to directing the apprehension of the suspect. He called in K9 unit and back up. He was trying to save my shop. He saved christmas for charley + may co.”
A happy ending, save for the broken window, for charley + may, thanks to the prompt response of SPD and the K-9 skills of Ziva! She even has her own “trading card”:
You can check out more on Ziva, the only female SPD K-9, in the video that follows Ziva and handler Officer Wong (click the photo for the video):
If you saw or heard the SPD black SUVs and SWAT vehicle racing through Queen Anne this morning, it was in response to an incident aboard a Victoria Clipper. Apparently a man stole a Victoria Clipper ship to get to West Seattle…
Man Arrested After Commandeering Victoria Clipper Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on
It was a morning of adventure on the high seas for Seattle police, the US Coast Guard and Port of Seattle police after a man stole a Victoria Clipper and headed out into the middle of Elliott Bay this morning.
Track of stolen Victoria Clipper
Courtesy of Natasha Chen, KIRO, via Twitter
The boat was discovered 300 yards out from Pier 69 on the Seattle waterfront around 7 AM, and It first appeared the clipper ship was adrift.
However, when a tugboat went to retrieve the boat they discovered there was a man on board and contacted the coast guard and police.
SPD’s SWAT, patrol and Arson Bomb Squad responded to Elliott Bay along with Port of Seattle police and US Coast Guard boat and helicopter teams.
Police negotiators contacted the man on the ship and, eventually, a tactical team boarded the vessel and arrested the suspect.
The man told police he had planned to take the boat to West Seattle.
The suspect will be booked into the King County Jail for yet-to-be-determined charges (piracy or grand theft vessel) and the boat will be towed back to port.
Seattle police are still working to determine how the man was able to commandeer the ship.
Last week’s report of an attempted abduction of two children from a Coe Elementary at an after-school program has taken a positive turn. Turns out, it was a miscommunication, and there was no danger to the two children. The suspect was actually thier emergency contact.
Miscommunication Leads to Kidnapping Investigation at After School Program
Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on November 15, 2013
Update on 11/18: After investigation of the incident, detectives have determined that an emergency contact was in fact attempting to pick up the children on behalf of their parents. The children were not in any danger and detectives have closed the case.
Per the SPD blotter, a man attempted to abduct two children at Coe Elementary around 3:40pm on Thursday. Note the description: white male in his late 40s to 50s, 5’10-5’11, 180 pounds, medium to heavy build, wearing a beige winter coat, a dark beige baseball cap, with gray hair, stubble, and squinty eyes.
Police Investigating Attempted Kidnapping at After School Program
Seattle police are working to identify a man who attempted to abduct two children from an after school program Thursday on Queen Anne.
Around 3:40 PM, the suspect approached a staff member at an after-school program housed at Coe Elementary, in the 2400 block of 7th Ave. W, and said he was there to pick up two children.
The suspect, who knew the full names of both children, claimed he was there to pick up the kids’ on behalf of their father, who was having car trouble.
The staff member followed the after school program’s child safety protocols and told the suspect he needed to show ID in the program’s office before signing the children out for the day.
The suspect never showed up at the office, so staff contacted the kids’ father. After the father told employees his car had not broken down and he had not sent anyone to pick up his children, staff members called police.
Staff described the suspect as a white male in his late 40s to 50s, 5’10-5’11, 180 pounds, medium to heavy build, wearing a beige winter coat, a dark beige baseball cap, with gray hair, stubble, and squinty eyes.
Police are looking at several leads in this case and continue to investigate.
Here’s the full scoop on today’s robbery of the Upper Queen Anne Wells Fargo bank branch, per SPD. Looks like he fled from Upper Queen Anne to the corner of Mercer and Taylor streets, where he was arrested. As we all know, there are only so many quick routes off Upper Queen Anne…
Man robs bank while wearing a Scream Halloween Mask
Bank robber arrested. On 10/25/13, just shortly after 12:00 p.m., officers responded to a report of a bank robbery at the Queen Anne Safeway- Wells Fargo Bank. The suspect was reported to be wearing a scream Halloween mask and dark hooded sweatshirt.
The suspect implied a weapon and jumped over the counter and demanded money. After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled the bank.
Officers and Robbery Detectives quickly arrived in the area and set up containment. The suspect was located in his vehicle at Taylor Av N and N. Mercer St. He was arrested without incident.
The suspect was transported to Police Headquarters for processing. He will be subsequently booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery.
This incident happened at 1am this morning on East Queen Anne (see map below for location), I’ll leave the post to the very detailed SPD blotter report:
Man Stabbed in Arm During Disturbance At Queen Anne House Party
Written by Detective Mark Jamieson on
A 24-year -old man received a natsy stab wound to his bicep following a disturbance that erupted following a house party early this morning.
At about 1:00 this morning, officers responded to a disturbance in the area of Taylor Avenue North and Newton Street. Officer arrived and it appeared that many of the people involved in the disturbance had left the area. However, officers discovered a significant trail of blood leading from the driveway of a house, down the street where it ended next to where a car had been parked. Witnesses told officers they saw several people get into a car and that one of them was bleeding badly.
Officers went back to the house where the blood trail started and contacted two men there. One of the men stated that he lived there with his mother, who happened to be out of town. He told officers that he and his friend decided to host a party, with just a “few invited friends.”
As sometimes happens, uninvited people showed up to the party. According to the hosts, there were about 20-25 people at the party, but they only knew about half of them. As the hosts were trying to end the party and get everyone to leave, a fight began outside the house between several people, and the victim was stabbed in the arm. It was then that neighbors and the hosts called 911. Officers did not locate any additional victims.
While officers were interviewing the hosts, another officer had stopped a car for speeding not too far from the house. One of the occupants in the car was bleeding from the arm and admitted to being involved in the disturbance. The victim ended up going to the hospital for treatment of his injury.
The officers responded to the hospital to get more information from the victim. At first he provided officers with a partial description of the suspect, but then later became more and more uncooperative and stated that he did not want to participate with the investigation. Doctors at the hospital stated that the injury was not life-threatening.
Officers documented the events and will continue to follow up on this incident.