Security Message - Soliciting
Posted on Jan 10th, 2021

A few neighbors in PBA have reached out recently concerning solicitors in the neighborhood.  Our friends in Peachtree Heights West (PHW) sent out this update to their neighbors, please see it here:
 
Dear Neighbors,
 
A neighbor living on Habersham texted last Thursday evening (January 7) to report that a man purporting to be selling magazine subscriptions had just knocked on her front door. She had not opened the door and instead told him through the sidelight to leave the premises. She asked me for confirmation as to the recommended protocol for this situation; I replied that she should do just as she had done but in addition should call 911.
 
Interestingly, the head of our security patrol, Captain Jeff Baxter, has informed us that the following evening a burglary was reported at a house on Muscogee, close to Peachtree. The burglar entered through a window and stole jewelry. No one had been at home, and the alarm had not been set, but an image of the burglar may have been captured by a neighbor's Ring camera. The police have been processing the scene and investigating the burglary as well as any connection there might have been to the man who had been "selling magazine subscriptions" on Habersham.
 
Please click this link to read through the applicable City of Atlanta ordinance governing door to door sales:
According to the ordinance, if the purported magazine subscription seller on Habersham had obtained a permit and had been soliciting between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., it might have been legal to enter the neighbor's property and knock on her door. But he would have had to follow a strict protocol of proactively identifying himself and showing his credentials (and he did not do so). 
 
I think it is fair to assume that most people knocking on our doors and purporting to be selling something have no permit and might well be checking to see if the house would be a good target for illegal activities. For this reason the person might be deterred by the presence of a person speaking through a locked door.
 
Another possibility is that an innocent, unaware person thinks that going door-to-door is a good marketing or communications strategy. It is impossible to know the difference, so please don't give in to a sense of curiosity or friendliness, thereby taking a chance.
 
IN ANY EVENT THE POLICE HAVE ADVISED THAT WE NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO ANYONE NOT KNOWN TO US, AND FOLLOW UP BY CALLING 911.
 
There is an exemption in the ordinance for individuals representing not for profit organizations, but even they must have registered with the City and must display proactively credentials.
 
Thank you,
Katherine D'Amaro, President of Peachtree Heights West