FLORENCE — Law enforcement agencies have received numerous complaints about unwanted and rude salesmen who are going door-to-door in the area trying to sell vacuum cleaners.
"The only things allowed to be sold door-to-door in the city are magazines," Florence police Lt. Ken Lester said. "This group has been told that a number of times, but they are continuing to sell."
St. Florian Police Chief Ralph Richey said he also is getting complaints about the salesmen.
"They pull up in a neighborhood, four or five men get out and they take off to different houses," Richey said. "I had one person tell me that one of the men just opened the door and came in on him unwelcomed.
"Their attitudes and their approach are making people nervous."
Richey said the salesmen are often coming to the houses at night.
Lester said the men offer the homeowners some kind of item to get into the house.
"Then they go into their sales pitch for the vacuum cleaner," Lester said. "What's so alarming to citizens is that these guys are very pushy, to the point of being rude."
He said the Better Business Bureau and local law enforcement agencies have been notified about the complaints.
"It's gotten to the point that people are worried that these men are not legitimate and their sales pitch might be a front for something else," Lester said.
There have been no reports that the men have harmed anyone or stolen property, officials said.
"With more and more burglaries, robberies and even home invasions going on, people are more concerned about who is coming to their house uninvited," Richey said. "For someone you don't know to walk in uninvited, I'm sure it can be unnerving."
Lester said Florence patrol officers have warned the group several times and have written them citations.
"I'm sure they're making their way throughout the area," he said. "We just want the public to be aware of it."
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.