DeLand Police Department
For immediate attention
Chief William E. Ridgway
Wednesday Jan 19, 2011
Complaint Areas – Bent Oaks/The Reserve Subdivisions, Crystal Cove Subdivision, Victoria Properties
Information: Within the last week, numerous complaints have been received from the Bent Oaks/The Reserve Subdivisions, Crystal Cove Subdivision and the Victoria Properties Area regarding solicitors selling magazines and books.
Solicitors under city ordinances are any group, organization or company that sells any goods, services or promotional merchandise for profit. Each person that falls into the description must possess a current city of DeLand solicitor’s permit issued at city hall. A county of Volusia solicitor’s permit will not suffice. Religious organizations, or groups such as Girls Scouts, Cub Scouts are exempt from this.
The DeLand Police Department takes these type of complaints serious. In a recent complaint received from the Crystal Cove subdivision, a unlicensed magazine solicitor was found and issued a Notice to Appear in court, and asked to cease her actions. Historically, the Police Department finds that these type of solicitors are typically scams, or a front to get inside your home for a diversion type theft, or conduct surveillance in an area prior to acts such as burglaries or vehicle thefts.
What to do if Solicitors are in your neighborhood or Subdivision:
In the event that you find this type of activity in your neighborhood, please follow these simple guidelines:
· Never open your door to any stranger that is soliciting.
· Announce to the person thru your front door that you are not interested. By making this announcement this lets the subject know someone is home and is aware of their presence. In many residential burglary cases in DeLand, burglars will knock at your front door and if no answer go to a secluded area at the back of the house and attack a rear door or window.
· Please contact the DeLand Police Department’s non-emergency phone number (386) 734-1711 to report any sightings of this type of activity in your neighborhood or if someone just came to your house. Please don’t assume that someone else in the neighborhood will call. By calling the Police Department, you could be preventing future crime in the area.
Once called the Police Department will take action which will usually include, verification of the person’s identity, valid city solicitor’s permit, complete a contact card and in most cases take a digital photo of the subject for future reference. In the majority of cases if a city ordinance violation is found, the officer may issue a notice to appear for the violation.
In areas such as subdivisions that have posted no solicitors permit by their HOA , the Police Department cannot take enforcement action based on a HOA violation or the no solicitors sign. However these signs are a notice to Solicitors that the Neighborhood is not interested in these type of operations and will most probably call the Police Department.
Community Services Unit
DeLand Police Department
Jan 19, 2011- 007