Door-To-Door Salesman Targeting NW CR

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Salesmen without a permit seem to be targeting one neighborhood in Cedar Rapids. And in some cases, neighbors say the salesmen are aggressively approaching senior citizens.

The door-to-door stops began last week and continued through the weekend.

People living in the neighborhood contacted police. Authorities confirm the salesmen don't have a city-issued solicitation permit.

Neighbors say they just want others in the area to be aware.

Steve Valley lives off Johnson Avenue in Northwest Cedar Rapids. He says about 40 neighbors there all communicate through phone calls and an email chain. That's how he first heard about the salesmen.

"He asked the guy to leave and he wouldn't. And after two or three minutes he said look I'm closing the door and he actually closed the door and he called me up," Valley said.

Valley, a former cop, immediately ran down the street to look for the guys.

"I asked him if he had a permit and he said 'Well my boss has one.' And I said 'Well where is your boss?" And he said 'I don't know.'"

After the guys, who work out out of a white van, left Valley heard about similar instances nearby. He says the elderly often feel like they're being held hostage with door-to-door sales.

"They have a way of putting their foot in the door if the door opens, and it's a bad situation for safety."

Cedar Rapids Police want to remind people they should never feel like they have to answer the doors for salespeople, or invite them into their home. People also shouldn't feel pressured to make a purchase.

Every door-to-door sales person is required to carry a sales permit, issued by the city. The city says its investigating the carpet salesmen.

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