Police continue to encourage Starke County residents to report any suspicious activity to the dispatch center as soon as it occurs in light of the continued complaints of pushy door-to-door salespeople. As recent as yesterday morning, the Starke County Sheriff’s Department has been receiving reports of a white van with Michigan plates that have been trying to sell vacuums or other items to residents.
Police were able to locate the van and perform a traffic stop and located two male subjects. The officers told the men inside the vehicle that in order to sell items door-to-door, they must obtain a permit from the auditor’s office and explained the process. The men were sent to the auditor’s office to obtain the permits, but when they learned of the process and fees, they decided not to proceed with obtaining a permit.
As a result, Starke County Deputy Brack Rowe said officers have been advised that no one is registered through the auditor’s office for a Transient Merchant Permit, and they will be issuing citations to anyone selling items door-to-door. He encourages all residents to notify police immediately if a salesperson approaches their home in a suspicious manner.
“Call us immediately, by all means, if you feel that it’s an emergency call 911 and let an officer get to the area and determine the importance of that, but you don’t have to answer the door. Any time you feel that there’s suspicious activity that’s afoot out in your neighborhood, call our agencies so we can get someone out there to check on that,” said Rowe.
Salespeople that have been registered with the auditor’s office will have a permit on their person to sell items in the county, and Rowe said you have the right to request to see that permit.