3rd vacuum salesperson charged

July 2, 2014

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — A third vacuum salesperson has been arrested for criminal trespassing after allegedly barging into local homes and using aggressive sales tactics, targeting the elderly.

Roosevelt Hinds, 22, of 6661 Cherrywood Dr., Kingsley, pleaded guilty during his arraignment Tuesday in 78th District Court after authorities tracked him down in Cadillac, said Oceana County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Erin Fisher.

Hinds is among three Kirby salespeople to be charged with criminal trespassing. Darnell Marquis Burton and Brenda Spicuzza, both of Grand Rapids, were arraigned last month for criminal trespassing — a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $250 in fine. They reportedly would refuse to leave peoples’ homes and would stay  for several hours until late at night.

Authorities investigated similar complaints of aggressive vacuum salespeople in the Mason County area last March.

Hart Mayor Pro Tem Sara Bizon announced at a city council meeting in mid-May that the salespeople were out there. Bizon said they forced an elderly woman to write a check for $950 before they would leave her home. Fortunately, the the check was cancelled before the salespeople cashed it.

“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,” said Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Craig Mast when the investigation first began. “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.”

These Kirby salespeople work through CEZO Corporation in Grand Rapids. Burton and Spicuzza are scheduled for jury trials.

Hinds’ mug shot was not available, because the OCSD mug shot system was down at the time of his booking.

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