Vigilant citizens have been calling Eugene Police recently with reports of suspicious door-to-door solicitors. Reports of aggressive soliciting have come from areas near Riverview St., Coburg Rd./Pioneer Pike, Delta Hwy/Ayres Road, and Honeywood St. While door-to-door sales could be legitimate, it’s difficult to know for sure. Our concerns are two-fold:
1. If they truly are selling products or services, or collecting for a cause, there’s no way to know if they are illegitimate until it’s too late to do anything about it. Products can be shoddy, and organizations non-existent. Services such as re-surfacing driveways can be outright scams. The safer move is to buy or donate directly, locally, working with groups you are familiar with, who have local references, and who you can find for follow-up as needed.
2. Criminals commonly use cover stories as excuses to see if a home is vacant, or to see what valuables are visible once you’ve opened the door. If you answer the door they can claim to be selling products, collecting cans, or looking for an old friend. If you don’t answer the door, they know the coast is clear for a break in. Daytime break-ins are common because that is when many people have gone to work, leaving their homes vacant.
Your safest move is to refuse to open the door to anyone you are uncomfortable with, and if a crime has been committed or if there is a threat to commit a crime, call 9-1-1, and if the solicitors look suspicious, call the EPD non-emergency line to document the incident. As a primary line of defense; signs can be posted at your front door or gate that read, “No Solicitors,” or “No Trespassing;” refuse to open the door to strangers – even with a chain latch on; install peep-holes and porch lights so that you can see who is at the door; Talk to them through the door, inform them you don’t do business with door-to-door solicitors. Also, consider contacting your neighbors to give them a heads-up!
If you do choose to hear them out, there are legal requirements under the Eugene Municipal Code for commercial solicitors:
3.845 Commercial Solicitor - Requirements. A commercial solicitor shall:
(a) If under 18 years of age, hold a valid employment certificate issued by the Oregon Wage and Hour Commission in accordance with state law;
(b) Carry an identification card that contains the commercial solicitor's name, address, telephone number, and photograph, and if employed, the business name, address, and telephone number of the solicitor employer and shall display the identification card at the request of any person;
(c) Reduce each order for goods or services to writing, and shall provide one copy of each order to the purchaser. Each order shall state the name and address of the commercial solicitor, the name and address of the solicitor employer, if any, the terms of the order and the amount paid in advance;
(d) Upon the request of the purchaser, provide a receipt for payment for goods or services supplied. The receipt shall state the amount paid, the goods or services purchased or provided, the date of purchase, and the name, address and telephone number of the commercial solicitor;
(e) Comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
(Section 3.845 added by Ordinance No. 19338, enacted June 26, 1985, effective July 26, 1985.)
3.847 Commercial Solicitor - Responsibilities of Solicitor Employer. A employer shall:
(a) Be strictly liable for any violation of this chapter committed by an agent or employee;
(b) Comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
(Section 3.847 added by Ordinance No. 19338, enacted June 26, 1985, effective July 26, 1985.)
If you have questions or concerns about suspicious activity in your neighborhood, report it to the Eugene Police Department non-emergency line: 541-682-5111. If you see someone committing a crime - call 9-1-1!