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La Mesa Police arrested 23 year-old Courtney Townsend of San Diego for residential burglary Sunday night.

Townsend was with a group of solicitors doing unlicensed door-to-door magazine sales when she and a second solicitor knocked on a door and asked a woman at a residence on the 5600 block of Amaya Drive to use the restroom. Shortly after they left, the victim realized a $900 diamond bracelet had been stolen from her bathroom and contacted police.

A short time later, police found the solicitors still canvassing the area. Townsend, matching the description of the subject was stopped for questioning and it was discovered she had a felony arrest warrant for burglary.

Townsend was arrested on the warrant, and during a search, the missing bracelet was discovered hidden in her pants. She was booked into County Jail for residential burglary, the existing burglary warrant, and for falsely identifying herself to officers.

Police are reminding La Mesa residents that solicitation without a permit is illegal in the city. Anyone contacted by an independent salesperson or someone seeking donations should ask to see their La Mesa solicitation permit, cease contact, and report the individual to police at 619-667-1400. Criminals in the past have been known to use solicitation as a ruse to determine if anyone is home at a residence or to gain access for the purpose of committing a crime.

(Stock photo)

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sdsocialdiary Nov. 22, 2011 @ 5:36 a.m.

My understanding is that the soliciter's license must have a photo id. of the person, plus it must be signed by SD Poice Chief Lansdowne.

According to a retired police officer, burglary and worse, assault, are incidents that have also occured in the past with other non-permitted solicters.


Dave Rice Nov. 22, 2011 @ 7:47 a.m.

This particular case occurred in the City of La Mesa, not San Diego. But you're correct, in San Diego the SDPD is in charge of issuing permits, and also requires applicants to submit to LiveScan fingerprinting to add their prints to an online database.


SurfPuppy619 Nov. 22, 2011 @ 8:47 a.m.

Sorry-the gov cannot create a "database" of peddler fingerprints in order for an applicant to get a license to peddle. I would assume they get the livescan prints to see if there are any serious convictions-and if there is a criminal history reject the license.

I do remember the case a year or two ago of the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman who sold an old lady a $400 vacuum, and then went back the next week with two friends and kidnapped her, stolen her car, drove her around in the trunk of her car until a cop luckily saw a tail light out and pulled the car over-otherwise that old woman would prbably be dead right now.


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