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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Police investigating solicitors in Annandale

As a result of several complaints from residents of the Ravensworth-Bristow community in Annandale about door-to-door solicitors, officers from the West Springfield Police District have issued warnings to several unlicensed solicitors and told them to leave them the neighborhood.

The solicitors are associated with these companies: Power Home Remodeling (based in Chester, Pa.), E Enterprises Inc. (Lutherville, Md.), the Smart Circle International  (Plano, Texas), and Fast Trak Management (Falls Church).

When one resident asked to see a solicitor’s license when someone from Power Home Remodeling knocked on his door, the man ignored him and went to the house next door. The resident thought the solicitors might be connected with a series of day-time burglaries that have plagued the neighborhood.

He later learned that Power Home Remodeling sends dozens of young adults with criminal records and outstanding warrants into a neighborhood and that the Fairfax County Police Department is investigating the company. Another resident was alerted by her dog that there might have been a solicitor lurking in her backyard and she was concerned that he could have been casing the house for a burglary.

If salespeople or guys looking for work come to your door, the police suggests asking to see a solicitor’s license. If they don’t have one, or you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call the police non-emergency number, 703/691-2131.

In addition to the possibility of break-ins, there are plenty of unscrupulous people out there trying to con the elderly into overpriced yard work or home improvements. The police refer to those scammers as “woodchucks,” and the Mason Police commander, Capt. Carol Wilhite, has made cracking down on them one of her top priorities.


  1. Yesterday afternoon (Thu, 5/23/2013), two young men knocked on our door. I answered and they proceeded to give me a sales pitch saying: We noticed your house had the original windows and just wanted you to know that we just finished some work on another house in your neighborhood. We're in the neighborhood giving free estimates.

    I very quickly told them that we weren't interested and they persisted to try to sell their services. Eventually in the conversation, we found out that they were from a company called Power Home Remodeling. I told them AGAIN that we did NOT want their estimate but they could leave information and I would check them out on Angie's List. One of the young men told me they had a 98% approval rating. FALSE. I looked them up on Angie's List, they have a B rating and 3 of the most recent reviews were F's! They went away but told us they would come back with a card. We never got a card.

    Today ANOTHER, different representative came to our door from the SAME company. We again told him to go away and this time, he did. However, I was reading the Annandale Blog, and the Blog said that the FFX CO police were investigating solicitors in some neighborhoods and they specifically named Power Home Remodeling.

    I then called the police and made a report. The police officers came to our door took, down the information and managed to catch the solicitor without a solicitor's license! Wow. I never thought to look for a solicitor's license. Thankfully, we weren't taken in by these folks. Apparently, they prey on the elderly and mentally disabled. So sad! Hopefully, we've deterred them from our neighborhood.

    The take-away for me from this experience was 1) check for a solicitor's license when they come to your door and kick them off your property if they AREN'T properly licensed. 2) Report suspicious activity to police.

    Thanks Annandale Blog for your timely reporting!

  2. Another resident was alerted by her dog that there might have been a solicitor lurking in her backyard and she was concerned that he could have been casing the house for a burglary. Thanks for your posting....

  3. Smart Circle is just one tentacle of the global direct sales cult known to some as Devilcorp. If you go to you will find a plethora of links to news reports, government rulings, lawsuits and video footage showing how these people do business.

  4. If you go to you will find plenty of info on Smart Circle.

  5. Having worked for this company, it doesn't surprise me that they would be knocking on doors without proper authorization. Good article. Thanks for taking the time to write it.