'Solicitation by intimidation' a growing problem in Charlotte

Over-aggressive salesmen have been reported by several homeowners in south Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Door-to-door salespeople are nothing new. 

But police say a disturbing trend is starting to show up with what can only be described as aggressive solicitors. 

“Someone knocked at the door,” said the woman, who asked to not be identified. 

This 63-year-old south Charlotte woman couldn’t believe what happened next. It was far from a friendly sales pitch. 

“He started screaming and yelling about me being an ‘F-ing’ racist white [expletive]," she said. “Just went off like a crazy person.”

She was targeted by what police are calling solicitation by intimidation. CMPD says there’s been an uptick in reports of salespeople going door-to-door acting aggressively.

That’s precisely what happened to another woman just a few miles away. She says a man was trying to collect money for a fundraiser.

“Oh, I was very, very intimidated,” said another victim. “He got angrier when I said no. He didn’t like it, he was just angry.”

Believe it or not, as a homeowner, there’s not much you can do to stop the solicitors. And if you call the police, there’s not much they can do, either. Police do not have the legal authority to detail a solicitor unless they are trespassing and refuse to leave.

However, there are city ordinances in place to protect you. For example, solicitors can’t visit residential areas from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m.

One thing police absolutely recommend, when coming face-to-face with a belligerent solicitor, is to never open the door.

“Oh yeah, he could have pushed the door wide open and come in,” said the victim.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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