Since yesterday evening, a number of residents have reported encountering a door-to-door solicitor in our district.
It started with an email from one of our neighbor:
I just encountered a suspicious solicitor claiming to be a public utility representative on my block (9700 block of 51st Place). He was a going door to door, not identifying himself or his organization, and asking to see heating and gas bills (both highly suspicious). No vehicle seen. I reported this to county non-emergency police. The gentlemen was wearing a purple shirt and cellphone earpiece.
Another resident then told us a little more troubling story:
Same guy. I didn’t open my door, but I checked his bulletin board and light blue jacket for a logo and didn’t see one. I said, no thanks, I’m on the phone, and he started kicking my door in! I called the police. Then he came back and threw a lot of eggs at my door. Five minutes later, more eggs. When the police arrived about ten minutes later, they said they think it’s the same guy (*if* it’s the fake survey guy) doing this to a bunch of houses. There are lots of police cars trying to find him at this point.
This morning, I asked staff and the Police to find more about the identity of this solicitor. The code enforcement officer said they have not issued any permits to a solicitor doing utility business recently. The Police also said they patrolled last evening but could not find anyone with that description.
Later today, another neighbor identified the company that these individuals are from a company called PALMco Energy MD, LLC (www.PalmcoEnergy.com) They stated their company had obtained a City solicitation permit.
City staff however found that the company does not have a City solicitors permit. “If they did, each individual solicitor would be issued a copy in their name to carry and present to residents.” – staff noted.
City Code enforcement later issued this following notice to this solicitor:
We have received reports that representatives of your agency have been performing door-to-door solicitations in the corporate limits of the City of College Park, Maryland. Please be advised that this practice requires a Permit as stated in Chapter 129-9-B. Solicitors for profit. (1) For the purposes of this chapter, the term “solicitor for profit” shall mean all persons soliciting for any reason within the City who do not come under the application or exclusion set forth in Subsection A hereinabove. (2) Display of license. Every person so soliciting shall carry upon his/her person at all times the license so issued and shall produce the same to any person who may at any time request to see it. C. No solicitor shall operate within the City of College Park between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.[ http://ecode360.com/CO0032]
Please have your local representatives cease operations immediately and visit this office to obtain the required documents.
We hope the issue is resolved soon and this kind of troubling solicitation is stopped. In the mean time, if you see any solicitor/vendor knoking your door, please ask him to show a City issued permit. If he cannot, please call police immediately.