Reminders for solicitor season

May 20, 2020

 With nicer weather we tend to see an increase in solicitor activity, and this year is no different.  Solicitors who received their licenses from the City of Boise before the COVID-19 closure may be going door-to-door in Boise.  Solicitors with a solicitor’s license are legal as long as they obey the law, and are transparent about who they represent and what they are selling.

Boise Police want to remind residents to be cautious of suspicious or aggressive door-to-door solicitors.  In some cases, offenders pose as solicitors or delivery people, knocking on doors to determine if anyone is home.  If no one answers, the criminal could then move to the back of the home (out of sight from the street), and locate an unlocked window or force their way in.  If someone answers the door, they may pose as a legitimate company or act as if they have the wrong address.

VENDOR LICENSE

City Licensing:

All Boise City door-to-door solicitors must be licensed by the City and display their official license when interacting with home owners. Boise City Solicitors Licenses have the individual's name, picture, and the Boise City logo.

Representatives from non-profit 501c(3) organizations (certain charities), local service groups such as Boy or Girl Scouts, and political groups are not required to have a city license.  However, even if a solicitor claims to be a non-profit organization you should still ask for identification to confirm they are an actual representative, and if you feel threatened, call 911 immediately.  Solicitors are allowed to engage in their licensed business only between 9:00 a.m. and one hour after sunset unless located in a commercially zoned area.

NOTE:  A flyer taped to the door or slid under a doormat where no actual selling has occurred is considered advertising and not soliciting.  However, if the person handing out the flyers engages in conversation trying to sell the product or service, it would then change their role into a solicitor and a license would be required.

Crime Prevention Tips:

  • Do not allow or invite solicitors into your home.
  • Be cautious about giving out any personal or financial information.
  • Report aggressive or suspicious solicitors to law enforcement immediately by calling Police Dispatch at 911. Provide a description of the solicitor and what direction they were headed.
  • Alert other neighbors in the immediate area. If you have a Neighborhood Watch, contact your NW Chairperson who can notify the other residents of this activity.  To establish a Neighborhood Watch in your area, contact cdemirelli@cityofboise.org.

During the Daytime:

  • Keep exterior doors and windows locked, including both back and side garage doors. Don’t forget to secure your pet door!
  • Turn off outside lights (not motion sensors).
  • Make the home look occupied by picking up your newspaper and removing flyers from your front door; consider leaving a radio on while gone.
  • Keep landscape trimmed to prevent hiding places.
  • Don’t leave spare house keys under a flower pot or doormat – give a spare to a trusted neighbor or friend.

Solicitors operate all year and calls regarding non-licensed solicitors are common.  Education will help you, your family and your neighborhood stay safe from crime.  For more information, please contact the Office of the City Clerk, Boise Licensing at (208) 972-8150 or visit https://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/Boise,ID to review the Boise City Code on Solicitors.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

(208) 570-6180 | BPDMedialine@cityofboise.org

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