"I quickly closed the door because he got right on the screen door to look in.”
Residents in the Point Loma/Ocean Beach area have been on alert since an aggressive “solicitor” began knocking on their doors a couple weeks ago.
On December 10th, a NextDoor post included a video of the solicitor at a resident’s door. In an interview, the resident, who lives near Nipoma Place/Nipoma Street, said, “I even took the video to the police station, they said there’s nothing they can do because he hadn’t committed a crime, and next time call the non-emergency number. He even read our mail…. I told him to leave and come back tomorrow, he came back at 1:00 a.m., and no we didn’t answer the door.”
After posting, the comments started….
“Came to our house as well. (Loma Portal)”
“Came to my house on Lotus Drive last night (Dec 9) around 5:30.”
“Same guy has been going around Loma Palisades claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions for the YMCA. He has come to our door three times after 7 p.m., a neighbors place twice…I tried to call non-emergency after he approached me twice at work.”
“Same guy was at my door on Chatsworth between the High School and Browning…”
“Same guy came to my house on Dec 9th near PLHS…he asked for $45 and then he offered me $20.”
On December 11th, “Blair” shared the incident in several Facebook O.B. and Point Loma crime groups, and the responses keep pouring in about this guy.
“Anyone have experience with this man coming to your door (sometimes in the middle of the night) asking for donations such a magazines or claiming to be selling magazines? He’s been hitting up houses over in my neighborhood near the YMCA…He seems to be very persistent and sometimes gets verbally aggressive when asked to leave…he came to my neighbors house when she was alone with her newborn and toddler and even with her huge dog barking at him and telling him that she was calling the police he didn’t seem phased. There’s several incidents others have had with this same guy, same scenario.”
“Yes. A guy showed up at our house at 7 p.m. on Saturday [Dec. 9th] asking for a subscription, then for the time, and then for money. My husband told him to go away.”
“He knocked on our door in Stonewood Gardens complex off Midway [Drive]. My husband barely opened the door and spoke with him and told him no and to leave.”
“Omg! Thursday night [Dec. 7] he came to my house about 9 p.m., hubby and I were not home, my youngest open the door cause he thought it was us ringing the bell, my oldest son came to the door and tried to get him to leave and he wouldn’t…hubby and I walked up and hubby told him no not interested and had to pretty much shut the door in his face…he was very pushy and not taking no for an answer.”
“Came to my house on Mentone on Wednesday [Dec. 6] at 10:30 p.m. Told him to go away.”
“This man keeps on showing up at my door. He rang my door bell at 2 a.m. this morning [Dec 11th].”
“That's the guy who was pounding on my door at 11:00 p.m. last week!” (week of Dec. 3rd)
“Yes!! He was at my apartment on Temecula St on Wednesday [Dec. 6th] trying to sell magazines. Then as he was leaving he was asking me very inappropriate questions, like if I like ‘dark meat’ or if I had a boyfriend... super creepy watch out!!!”
“Yes! OMG my friend asked him to leave our house and the guy started screaming at him that he's a faggot and all these other homosexual slurs. It was really scary and I prayed that the guy would never come back.”
“Yes he came by last Wednesday [Dec. 6] around 11:15 to our complex off of Mentone Street knocking around trying to sell something.”
“He came to my house 2x on Saturday night [Dec. 9th], told him I wasn't interested and he came back a couple hours later.”
“He was here Saturday night [Dec. 9] at 8:30 p.m. asking for 400.00 dollars for books. Not good. Plumosa Park area.”
A resident near the YMCA and Correia Middle School wrote, “Just saw him as I was driving past car wash on West Point Loma…he just walked into oncoming traffic and didn’t care. I nearly hit him and so did others as he walked into the middle of the street on Midway.” On December 23rd, the same resident reported that it happened again.
"This guy came to my house again last night! 8:15 p.m. I heard my gate open and then voices out front. He didn’t knock or anything. I looked out the window and there he was. Doesn’t say what group/company he is with. How do we get this guy out of the neighborhood? He has been in my neighborhood 3 times that I’ve seen…he doesn’t say who he is working for, doesn’t wear a badge or identification (the other mag sellers have in the past). Last night all he said when I saw him was ‘donate a magazine?’ I told him we are not interested and that he has been here before."
“Yup, he came to my door, and after a few choice words, he left, 9:30 p.m. off Hill Street.’”
One resident said she saw him being arrested in early December: “Yes he came knocking on our door at 11 p.m. at night. Said he needed money and food for his family. Who does that at 11 p.m. at night? Anyways the men in our apartment building came out, called the police and they came and arrested him…I believe it was Wednesday, December 6. I do not know what the charges were, I just saw them arresting him outside my bedroom window at around 1 a.m.,” she told me.
‘‘The man in the photo came to my house [on Worden Street] around 8 p.m. [Dec. 7] on a weeknight, I think a Thursday. I was there with my son and cousin…I cannot see thru my peephole due to wreaths on my door. He was friendly to me but very jittery and high-strung talking very quickly. Asked me to buy magazines to help young kids and said he is in a youth mentoring program. Asked me how old I was and what I did for a living. He got out some kind of badge or license? And dropped a bunch of cash on the floor. He scattered to pick it up. I told him I could not donate because I felt it was odd.”
“This guy just knocked on our door [Dec. 22] we live in Point Loma Tennis Club. He wasn’t rude, just started asked for the time, we said no thanks — he said I am just trying to work and I said okay but please don’t come back and he went to my neighbors, I said please don’t knock on my neighbors door he said I’m not knocking I’m ringing the door bell. I quickly closed the door because he got right on the screen door to look in.”
According to another a resident, this solicitor has been around for a while:
“Same guy came to my house on Cordova/Ladera several years ago(!) Selling magazines in the dark, not taking no for an answer, demanding I open the door. He finally left when I got my gun and told him SDPD would be called for trespassing if he did not vacate the premises. He disappeared into the night yelling obscenities and threats (some of them quite racist) but never returned...when I was home, anyway.”
The morning of December 23rd, he was again reported to be knocking on doors near the Point Loma Tennis Club Condos at 4:10 p.m.
“I recognized him from the picture someone posted! I told him I don't see a badge for you selling and our neighborhood has your picture up & this is private property — you better leave the premises! He had paperwork in his hands, nothing else…no backpack, etc., no coat.”
Another Point Loma resident commented on the morning of December 23rd: “He is not selling anything! He is panhandling at our front doors and is relentless. I thought the same thing, at first. But when he didn't know which YMCAs are in the area and would not produce a receipt for the $20 I foolishly gave him, I realized it is at minimum a scam and that possibly he is even casing homes….
“Later I heard my neighbors accounts of him following and returning repeatedly. Then he approached me at home and work (now 5x). Additionally, l spoke to the staff at the YMCA and they definitely are not raising money this way and stressed they don't want anyone to give money to him on their behalf…please heed the warnings people are posting instead of doubting us. This individual is most certainly up to no good. You do not fundraise/sell magazines at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.!”
The San Diego Police Department has a few recommendations for how to answer the door; also, a list of regulations solicitors must abide by, which include:
- All solicitors must obtain a police registration card that must be displayed on the front of their person.
- Solicitors must have an SD Business Tax Certificate or be employed by a licensed business.
- It is unlawful to knock, ring or otherwise disturb residences who have posted a “no solicitors” sign, or similar language.
- No soliciting between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. (except by appointment).
- It is illegal to make false representation in solicitation of charitable organizations.