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Boise Police provide tips on how to stay safe during “solicitor season”

The Crime Prevention Unit at the Boise Police Department lays out the do’s and don't’s for when a solicitor comes knocking.

BOISE, Idaho — With spring in full bloom and higher temperatures on the way, Boise Police says you may begin seeing more solicitors on your doorstep.

“Usually when the weather starts getting nicer is when we get a lot more of our door-to-door solicitors,” said Ed Fritz with the Boise Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit.

Since Boise City Hall is closed, no one can get a new solicitor’s license right now.

While there are still people out there ready to sell you products with a valid license, there could be some without the proper credentials.

“When that person comes to the door, they may have their work shirt with some logo and a name tag,” said Fritz. “But if they’re going to be doing door-to-door solicitation, they need to have that badge on and visible from the city.”

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The identification should have their name, picture, and the City of Boise logo.

However, some groups - like non-profits, certain charities, and political groups - are not required to have a license, Fritz said.

“So if a Girl Scout comes to the door trying to sell cookies those aren’t the people we want you to call on, because they’re OK to do that,” he said.

Fritz says residents can look at the date on a solicitor's badge to make sure their license isn’t expired. If someone does not present their ID, report them to Ada County non-emergency dispatch by calling 208-377-6790.

“Or if a crime is happening, don’t be afraid to call 911,” Fritz said.

Fritz added that nobody should invite solicitors into their home, even if the solicitor does present an ID. It’s also probably not the best social-distancing practice either.

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“Any business that needs to be done, can be done outside,” Fritz said.

Residents should refrain from handing out any personal information, Fritz said, and are encouraged to report any suspicious or aggressive behavior to police, and be a good neighbor.

“Whether it’s Nextdoor, whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s email groups, be sure to share information to help your neighbors out," he said.

You can also report any suspicious activity to your neighborhood watch.

If you don’t have a neighborhood watch, and are interested in starting one, contact cdemirelli@cityofboise.org.