Police warn of phony magazine salesmen

February 5, 2009 12:02:41 PM PST
Officials on Wednesday alerted Morgan Hill residents to a recent influx of phony magazine salesmen canvassing neighborhoods in order to commit petty crimes, according to police.

Police released a report that detailed several incidences of petty crimes committed in the last two weeks by individuals, many of them with criminal records in other states, posing as magazine salesmen in the area to raise money for college or hospitals, according to the City of Morgan Hill Police Department.

One resident reported that two men in their 20s had allegedly approached his home to solicit magazine sales, and upon leaving, attempted to steal a pair of shoes from his porch, according to police. Another Morgan Hill resident reported his mailbox being tampered with while supposed salesmen were in the area, and was subsequently contacted by credit card companies reporting unusual purchases on his accounts.

Officers responded to a report of a magazine salesman at a residence on Jan. 22, and reported contacting a suspect and issuing a citation for soliciting without a permit, according to police. The driver of a van was contacted at around the same time and told police he was in the area to deliver salesmen to work the neighborhood. The suspect was also cited for unlicensed magazine sales, for driving without a license and the vehicle was impounded.

Police are asking anyone contacted by magazine salesmen to inform the Morgan Hill Police Department at (408) 779-2101, while acknowledging that legitimate salespeople may also be present as valid licenses for door-to-door sales permits are available at the Morgan Hill Business License and Finance Department.