For Immediate Release
PR #:1400027
Date Issued:Apr 04, 2014 - 12:08pm

Sheriff's Office provides safety tips related to door-to-door solicitors

CONTACT:Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-722-5517

During the past week, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office has seen a dramatic increase in reports from residents concerned about persons soliciting door-to-door in their neighborhood.

Calls have ranged from a suspicious person posing as a security system repairman to persons selling magazines without credible identification. In addition, the Storey County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a home invasion case in which the suspect is reported to have posed as a salesman.

Door-to-door fundraising and solicitation is expected to continue increasing during the coming summer months. While many of these solicitations are legitimate, others may be illegal solicitors who are perpetuating scams or scouting potential homes for future burglaries.

The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating reports received from Washoe County residents and would like to remind all area homeowners to consider their safety before opening their doors.  Here are some guidelines on how to help protect you and your family from illegal solicitors:

  • If you don’t know the person, don’t open the door. Never feel obligated to greet an unfamiliar person knocking at your door.
  •  Always keep doors and windows locked. Storm doors or security doors are helpful when dealing with solicitors, because you can see and speak safely through the door. Use extreme caution before allowing an unfamiliar person into your home.
  • Solicitors must have a business license and permit. Call your local law enforcement agency if a solicitor is aggressively attempting to get into your home or refusing to show their license/permit.
  • If you are not interested, simply close the door and lock it. You don’t owe the person an explanation.
  • Don’t expect all perpetrators of door-to-door sales scams to look the part. Some are clean and well-dressed and use special psychological techniques to try to get into your home or get your money.
  • Always use extreme caution before providing any personal or financial information.
  • Take a look around the front of your home to see what is visible from the street. If you can see your valuable items through the front windows, so can potential burglars.
  • Residents can put a “no solicitors” sign on their door to help keep solicitors away.
  • If you observe suspicious activity, notify your local law enforcement immediately.

Washoe County residents may also receive information about keeping their families and neighborhoods safer by following the Sheriff’s Office on Twitter at @washoesheriff, or visiting the “Staying Safe” page on the Sheriff’s Office website:  Another important tool for increasing personal and neighborhood security is the free online neighborhood safety service, AlertID. For more information, visit

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Chuck Allen is the 26th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process and traditional street patrols.

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