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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Police issue warning on magazine solicitors

Don’t let door-to-door solicitors trying to sell magazines into your house, the Fairfax County police warn. In fact, it’s best to not even answer the door.

“Information has become available that a large group of magazine solicitors may be in the area,” says Pfc. Brendan Murphy, the crime prevention officer with the Mason District police station, which covers much of the Annandale area.

“Generally, they are young adults between 18-25 and are brought to the area from out of state,” Murphy says. “The companies that hire them will transport them throughout the county by van and drop them off in neighborhoods to try and sell magazine subscriptions door to door.”

“In most cases the subscriptions are not even valid,” he says. These people also aren’t likely to have solicitors license, which is required in Fairfax County for door-to-door sales.

“While soliciting itself isn’t a very serious crime, it does provide the opportunity for them to commit other crimes, such as burglary, larceny, destruction of property, and other offenses,” Murphy says. “Some of these individuals can also be very aggressive and hostile if you aren’t interested in ‘buying’ from them.”

Murphy urges people to call the police (703/691-2131) if you see anyone in your neighborhood selling magazines or any other type of items or services. “Ask for a patrol officer to be dispatched to the area to check these individuals out. You never know who you could be dealing with, so don’t confront them yourself,” he says.

If you’ve seen people selling magazines in your neighborhood, let the Annandale blog know, too.

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