Sheriff’s department warns residents about ‘aggressive’ salespeople

May 15, 2014

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.
HART – The Oceana County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents about “aggressive” vacuum salespeople in the area.

“We have had several complaints around the county of the Kirby salespeople,” said OCSD Lt. Craig Mast. “I have sent one report to the prosecuting attorney’s office for a possible warrant for trespassing. These Kirby salespeople come to residents’ houses quite late in the evening, around 9 p.m. or even later; then use very heavy-handed sales tactics. On the incident that has been sent to the prosecuting attorney’s office, the salespeople gave a ‘gift’ of Tide (laundry detergent); then would not leave even when asked to do so. It came to the point where a neighbor had to be called to the elderly person’s house to make the Kirby people leave, and only when they were threatened with police being called would they leave,” Mast said.

Mayor Pro Tem Sara Bizon announced during Tuesday night’s Hart City Council meeting that there are individuals in the city identifying themselves as vacuum salespeople who are allegedly attempting to commit crimes. Bizon said that a Hispanic man, a white woman and an African American man have been attempting to gain access to people’s homes to sell vacuum cleaners. They forced an elderly woman to write a check for $950 before they would leave her home, she said. Fortunately, the woman’s family cancelled the check before it was cashed. “Be aware that they’re out there,” she warned.

“In the incident that Mrs. Bizon remarked about that took place in the City of Hart, the salespeople came to the victim’s house at 9:15 p.m. and stayed until after 11 p.m.,” Mast said. “When I was finally able to recover the check she paid the Kirby salespeople with, she stated she only paid them to make them leave her house.
“I would like to offer a word of caution to all our citizens that these vacuum salespeople are very aggressive, and if they will not leave when asked to, please call law enforcement before just writing a check to make them leave,” the lieutenant said.

Similar complaints were received in Mason County last March, but no arrests were made. See related story on OCP’s sister site, Mason County Press,

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