BirminghamJuly 10, 2012
Beyond annoying, some solicitors can be dangerous, police say
By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer
BIRMINGHAM — On July 2, a resident in the 1600 block of Bowers agreed to buy a magazine subscription from a door-to-door salesman who had come to her home. But the salesman took more than just an order from the woman — he took her wallet, according to Birmingham police.
Cmdr. Terry Kiernan of the Birmingham Police Department said the woman had invited the salesman inside while she got her purse to pay for her subscription order. She was distracted briefly, and when she returned she found her wallet was gone along with the man. Later, the victim’s neighbor found the wallet on the sidewalk nearby, but all of the cash was missing.
Though police have yet to locate the suspect — who is described as a white man in his early 20s, standing approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall — he did leave a clue behind as to his identity. Left on the woman’s counter was a receipt for the subscription sale, which listed World Wide Circulation Inc. based in St. Clair Shores.
“It’s pretty bold, if you think about it. ‘I’m going to take your wallet, but leave your receipt to make sure you get your magazine subscription,’” said Kiernan of the suspect.
The incident comes within days of numerous complaints by Birmingham residents of unwanted solicitors canvasing the area selling magazine subscriptions. Those who were spotted by police officers said they worked for a company called Mega Sales Inc. The group sells subscriptions for World Wide Circulation Inc., according to World Wide Circulation Inc. office manager, Teresa Brisendine.
“We process orders for different sales groups. We don’t send them out, so we don’t know what area they were soliciting until we receive the orders,” she said.
Brisendine explained that World Wide Circulation Inc. does not go door to door selling subscriptions themselves, but instead processes orders sold by different sales groups. She added that it’s up to those sales groups to apply for solicitation permits for the areas they are selling in, when necessary. Kiernan said that no such permit was obtained for Mega Sales Inc.
“It’s a 90-day misdemeanor for soliciting without a license. Usually we just give them a warning until they become a pain, but I guess we’ll have to change our policy on that,” said Kiernan.
When asked about the incident on Bowers, Brisendine said that the company hadn’t been contacted regarding the theft, but said the office will look into the situation. The receipt indicated that the subscription was sold for World Wide Circulation Inc., but did not specify the exact sales group the solicitor was associated with. Kiernan said it’s likely the salesman was with Mega Sales, since other solicitation complaints during the week were connected to that group. A representative for Mega Sales could not be reached.
He said groups of solicitors are not an uncommon sight in Birmingham. Oftentimes, he said, the groups come from out of state to sell in an area for just a few days. One of the solicitors questioned by officers said he was from California, and he wasn’t able to recall the name of the hotel he was staying at while in town. Kiernan said groups like that will often go into an area until the local police catch up with them, then they’ll move on to another city nearby.
While there’s not much residents can do to prevent the obnoxious sellers, Kiernan said it’s important that people keep two things in mind when they see solicitors in their neighborhood: Don’t invite them inside, and call the police to be sure they’re allowed to be selling in the area.
“It’s not a wise thing to let anyone in your house that you don’t know, no matter what the circumstances are. You can always shut the door and call us, and we’ll come check it out.”
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- Emagine scraps plans for Roseville location - Roseville
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall - Berkley
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Man robs Roseville bank - Roseville
- Police seek help in fatal hit-and-run - Clinton Township
- Premature birth rates decline in Michigan for sixth year - Metro Detroit
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Mom, man she met online to stand trial on child sex charge - Warren
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Voters approve human rights ordinance - Royal Oak
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Digital diet could help put emotions, priorities in shape