As many of you have observed, our neighborhood has seen an increase in solicitors over the last month. We have seen many complaints about rude behavior and late hours for these solicitors. Unfortunately, we have also seen a dramatic increase in burglaries and property crime in the same period. While we don’t know whether the solicitors are responsible for the increase in crime or if they are unwittingly providing “cover” for criminals to pose as solicitors, the correlation is impossible to ignore.
Most of the solicitors claim to work for AT&T and promote their U-verse product and, because of this, SRCC membership has voted to send a letter of complaint to AT&T regarding their solicitation practices. AT&T, like many companies, often use outside marketing firms to hire these solicitors, so our letter will outline our complaints, and ask AT&T to consider changing firms or abandoning their use all together, investigate the marketing firm’s hiring practices, and enforce the firm’s use of background checks, among other things.
In addition, we encourage our residents to put up a “no solicitors” sign on your door and, even if you choose to not engage with them, always make noise or talk through your door or window so the solicitor knows someone is home. You should never feel obligated to greet an unfamiliar person knocking at your door, but it’s wise to make sure they know you are home but not interested. As always, call 911 if you observe any suspicious behavior.
If you are concerned about becoming a victim of a home burglary, consider increasing the level of deterrence in and around your home. Security systems, signage, and good lighting can go a long way in making your home less attractive to burglars.
If you are compelled to go beyond protecting your own personal property, we could always use your help with our Neighborhood Watch Patrol program. Please consider taking our simple training class and making the small commitment of patrolling or neighborhood for two hours each month. The program covers the entire SRCC area now, and we greatly need more volunteers. There will be a new training session scheduled in the next month, just contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.