HARDY, Ky. — Numerous complaints and concerns have been voiced by residents of Pike County, Ky. over the past week, concerning door-to-door salesman peddling vacuum sweepers and magazine subscriptions, as well as other items.
Joyce Dillon, an elderly Hardy, Ky., resident, contacted the Daily News Monday morning to report a disturbing incident that occurred over the weekend that has left her shaken and worried that it may happen again.
“I had walked to my mail box on Saturday and was heading back to my house when a blue mini-van pulled into my driveway,” said Dillon. “I didn’t recognize those inside but I counted five heads. The front seat passenger got out and walked over to me and told me that today was my lucky day that he was prepared to offer me a tremendous deal on a Kirby Vacuum cleaner that would cut my cleaning time in half.”
“I told him I wasn’t interested in purchasing a vacuum that I was satisfied with the one my daughter had bought me for Christmas, but he was told me he wouldn’t take no for an answer until after I let him demonstrate what the Kirby could do. He also told me he had a quota of demonstrations he had to complete each day, and said it would help him a lot and keep him out of trouble with his boss if I would allow him to show me how it works.”
“I felt sorry for him and told him I guessed I would allow the demonstration if it would help him,” remarked Dillon. He told me he would get the vacuum and everything he needed from the van and before I knew what was happening, he was inside my house, along with the four other guys that had been in the van with him.”
Dillon stated that she became very nervous, especially when they began asking to use the restroom and were walking in parts of the house that were out of her line of sight, and said one of the men started asking her questions about guns belonging to her late-husband that were inside a gun cabinet in her living room.
“He even asked me if I would unlock it and let him see one of the rifles, said it reminded him of one his grandfather had owned. I was very scared and told him no, that my son had the only key,” said the frightened woman.
“They began really pushing me hard to purchase the vacuum at a price that was just short of $1,300,” commented Dillon. “I kept telling the first young man that I had told him up front that I wasn’t interested in buying one, I had only agreed to the demonstration because he said it would help him meet his quota for the day. He even went as far as to tell me I could write him a check and postdate it and he would wait 7 days before cashing it in case I wasn’t satisfied with the vacuum.”
“He also told me I could pay for it with a credit card and that if I gave him my social security number he would run a credit report on me to see if I qualified for financing even after I had told him no, over and over again.”
Dillon said that thankfully, her son and daughter-in-law were driving by and after seeing the mini-van sitting in her drive, turned around and came back to make sure everything was okay. Within a few short moments, the woman’s son made the five men leave with strict orders to never return.
“My son worries about me all the time,” said Dillon. “He got onto me about letting them in but like I told him, if I hadn’t already been outside when they pulled in, I would never have answered the door.”
“God was with me that day and blessed me with a visit from my son. I can’t say for sure I would have been harmed, or robbed, but I know they were really making me feel uneasy and the longer they were inside, the pushier they got about me buying the vacuum.”
Residents on Old Hardy Road in the Toler, Ky., community made reports to the Kentucky State Police about a young man going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions that asked a lot of personal questions unrelated to what he was claiming to sell, such as where the homeowner was employed, what shift of work, married or single, how many in the household – which definitely sent up red flags to those whose doors were knocked on. The young man was described as being in his mid-twenties, short in stature with blondish-brown hair, beginning to bald. He was last seen wearing black and white checkered shorts and a white hoodie. A Black Land Rover with temporary tags was seen in the vicinity at the same time the magazine seller was making his door to door stops, and is believed to have provided the man transportation away from the scene. According to eye-witnesses, the blue mini-van and the black Land Rover have both been seen in the parking lot of the Sweet Dreams Suites, located at the mouth of Aflex near the Save-a-Lot grocery store.
The Daily News also received reports of a silver mini-van loaded with young men in the Blackberry community, who also claim to be selling magazine subscriptions.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary in your neighborhoods or feel there’s a scam going on with the intent of committing fraudulent acts, you are encouraged to contact the law enforcement agency in your area immediately. Information such as the license plate number on the vehicle and a description of those inside would be very beneficial.
‘Like my sons told me, if in doubt - don’t open the door. If they refuse to leave, call 911,” said Dillon. “It’s better to call the police and have them come out for a false alarm than to not call and end up injured, robbed, or worse.”
The number for Pikeville Post 9 of the Kentucky State Police is 606-433-7711, or you may simply call 911 from any landline or cell phone. If in WV, you may call the WVSP at 304-235-6000, the MSCD at 304-235-0300 or your local municipality police departments.