DIGGING DEEPER: Addressing door-to-door sales concerns in Cedar - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DIGGING DEEPER: Addressing door-to-door sales concerns in Cedar Rapids

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We are digging deeper after more than 400 people shared a Facebook post voicing concern over door-to-door sales in Cedar Rapids. 

The post says a van allegedly dropped a woman off at a home where she knocked on the door asking for a pen. 

According to the post, the homeowner confronted the people in the van who said they were selling Kirby vacuums. 

Several people voiced their concern in the comment section of the post, multiple people said they had similar encounters.

Cedar Rapids police say a legitimate sales person will have a permit through the city. 

 "It'll say peddler and solicitor license, it's got the city logo in the background," says Cedar Rapids Police Department Spokesperson Greg Buelow. 

The permit is something police suggest people ask to see if a seller comes to their home. 

The city clerk's office says  there is only one person currently licensed to go door-to-door selling Kirby vacuums in the city. 

We reached out to the company that person works for, 'Top Notch and Associates' who sent us an email confirming that person was not working out of this particular white van. 

Instead they wrote in part, (the van) "actually belongs to a different authorized, independent distributor of Kirby products.  The owner of that business informed us that he has never sold in Cedar Rapids before.  Last night was that distributorship’s first time in Cedar Rapids, and the salespeople were unaware of the city’s permit requirements.  The owner of the business told us that should he ever come back to Cedar Rapids, he will make certain that his business is in compliance with the city’s laws."

Buelow says the police department receives calls about door-to-door sales every week. 
"We get probably at least a half a dozen per week to the police department concerned about somebody that came door-to-door," he told us. 

We spoke with a woman who was worried about a seller who came to her door in April, in fact she wanted to remain anonymous because of it. 
    "I called the police and we saw the van get pulled over just down the street here and the person who was at our door was hiding like down the street watching it," she says. 

Police say callers are doing the right thing by alerting them when they feel there is suspicious behavior. 

If caught selling without a permit Buelow says police will usually inform the seller about the need for one.

If there is a repeated violation a seller can be charged with operating without a permit. 

The permit requirement does not apply to nonprofits like Girl Scouts selling cookies or an organized school fundraiser. 

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