The better weather of late spring and summer brings an influx of door-to-door solicitors to Lamorinda neighborhoods and residents, Patch is told, are teaming with local police to ward them off.
Walnut Creek police issued an alert for neighbors to better understand the legalities of dealing with door-to-door solicitors, and Moraga Police Chief Bob Priebe is meeting with at least one neighborhood group weary of hard-sell, front porch sales pitches for everything from magazines to meat.
The most frequent violations, police say, are for solicitors who saturate neighborhoods without first obtaining a permit from the city, and many residents mistakenly believe the person on their doorstep has undergone a criminal background check. That is not the case, according to Walnut Creek police.
"Our current Municipal Code does not allow for a denial of a permit based on prior criminal history or failure to disclose criminal history" Walnut Creek police report, and concern over amped-up, "won't take no for an answer" sales groups trucked into pre-selected neighborhoods on a regular basis heightened with the murder of a Lafayette woman who opened her door to a "magazine salesman" who raped, robbed, and strangled her.
Tales of odd solicitor behavior abound. On Feb. 19, on Conejo Way, a well dressed man knocked at the door "asking to be adopted and would be back tomorrow," police reported. In Moraga, a salesman who attempted to explain his odd behavior by saying he had suffered "too many concussions" made himself at home on a resident's front porch and kept up a sustained knocking for three minutes.
And, it seems, those "No Solicitor" signs are not meant to be ignored after all. Suggestions regarding home solicitations were issued Wednesday by Walnut Creek police: