Police: Know your rights with solicitors

Staff Report

With weather warming up, Amherst police are reminding residents about the rules on door-to-door solicitation.

“While legitimate businesses often employ solicitors to help their business grow and for a variety of other reasons, it is no secret that burglars often use the ruse or actions/mannerisms of a door-to-door solicitor to case and then break into a vacant or unoccupied residence,” chief Joseph Kucirek posted on Facebook.

Generally speaking, if people are soliciting or canvassing for religious organizations, charitable organizations, newspaper subscriptions, at a business establishment, or political purposes, they don’t need to get a permit from the police department.

You can always ask to see a solicitor’s permit, make sure it’s current, and feel for the embossed Amherst police patch. Permits are valid for six months and solicitors have to go through FBI and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations background checks at their own cost.

If there is no permit, the person is using high-pressure tactics, or if they are being an annoyance, text police at 440-988-4422 or call the station at 440-988-2625 with as much information as possible. Keep an eye on them until officers get in the area, Kucirek advised.

However, he said these are low-priority calls and are answered as time permits.

To read Amherst’s ordinances on the subject, visit www.goo.gl/gxmrj4.

Staff Report