Community, please be on alert:

I have seen a young man twice this week in the
Heartland/Heartland Circle neighborhood. He is approaching stay-at-home moms on the premise of  selling
educational book sets for kids.

He has
blond hair, light build, thick accent and rides a bike. When he came to our house, I
told him I never buy anything from my front door and I encouraged him to
leave info and his name, but he wouldn't. He presented me with his
sales permit from the city and mentioned other moms and kids, by name,
that he met prior to coming to my door. He was EXTREMELY persistent. I
had to be very firm to get him to leave.

I believe this company to be the same one that worked
this area about 5 years ago, with questionable sales tactics
(specifically, asking the names and ages of children in the house,
schedules, husband's work hours...) and leaving many of my neighbors
uneasy about the info they were gathering. It was suspected that they
were casing and gathering info about families, specifically with
children.  Back then, we were encouraged to call the police if/when we
see these salesmen.

This was just posted on our neighborhood site, alerting neighbors.  I thought I'd share it here, in hopes of alerting the community to use best discertion if you find this young man at your doorstep this week.


Beth Mason Zimmerman August 13, 2013 at 02:21 PM
He was at my house (Boulder hill in montgomery)a couple if weeks ago. I asked several times what he was selling, who he was with ... and could not get a direct answer. I finally just said thank you and shut the door.
JenStan August 13, 2013 at 02:46 PM
He was in Orchard Prairie North a couple weeks ago too. I told him 3 times I had to go feed my kids dinner. After dropping the names of several neighbors he had talked to I just shut the door on him. 2 days later I heard a neighbor called the police after he had rang their doorbell at 8:45pm! The police checked his permits and told him to leave when people ask him to and don't be selling so late. Call the police if he keeps pestering you to talk!
Christina Quarnstrom August 13, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Young man of the same description came by my house in Fox Chase about 2 weeks ago. I have had them EVERY year. I told him before he even really started talking that I knew he was selling educational products and I wasn't interested and I was very ill (I had a horrible flu). He kept on until I said.... "I'm sorry, I am not interested at all and I am very sick right now." and closed the door in his face. I'm sick of these clowns, and they are here every summer.
christine rizzo August 13, 2013 at 03:11 PM
He came to my house as well, but I don't remember his name. He said he was from some country in Europe and was here as a foreign exchange student trying to raise money for college. He had a notebook with the whole neighborhood mapped out and wanted to know which houses had kids. He came at 8am on a Saturday morning and I live in Hometown (Oswego).
James Simmons August 13, 2013 at 03:11 PM
He was in the Arbor Gate community last week as well. I answered the door and immediately asked for his company he represented and identification. He noticed my squad car sitting in the garage and apologized for bothering me and left. I did advise him that he must have his credentials in view at all times while interacting with the public. He did not say anything and left the area.
Beth Alderson August 13, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Should have snapped a picture of him with your phone so you could post it. If he complained just tell him you're gathering information for your husband.
Rebecca Moon August 13, 2013 at 03:26 PM
This same person was in our subdivision last week. Lakewood Valley on Wolf's Crossing.
Natalie Stevens (Editor) August 13, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Here's an update to this post, with information from Yorkville Police: http://yorkville.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/suspicious-solicitor-reported-in-area-what-you-should-know
Michelle August 13, 2013 at 03:48 PM
This man was at my house a couple of weeks ago in Boulder Hill. I explained that I didn't have any small children and he wanted more information on my older children. He kept asking which neighbors had small children and listed a couple of them. I told him I had to go to work and shut the door! I wish I would have known about this at the time.
Laura Merrifield Bartoszek August 13, 2013 at 04:21 PM
This young man sells educational materials for Southwestern. http://www.southwestern.com/ It was started in 1855 by a Reverend in Tennessee. They are based out of Nashville. He is an independent contractor with the company. They recruit college age students form the US and other countries. This is a legitimate company, he orders the product and delivers it to you. I have ordered books and CD's from them. Please read more about the company on Wikipedia. He has a very difficult job without being accused of wrongdoing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwestern_Company
Randy Stennett August 13, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Did he have a Russian accent? If so, I would contact your local PD and/or FBI. There is a group that targets households with small children for kidnapping and slave trade. They are known to use this technique.
Tyler Foley August 13, 2013 at 05:01 PM
I believe I've also seen him in the area of cherry road and grove...
Carrie Corral August 13, 2013 at 05:07 PM
He was at my sisters house Near Douglas and Ashland about a month ago asking the same type of questions, then showed up yesterday again but she didn't answer the door..... Weird
April August 13, 2013 at 06:27 PM
We have had several groups of people from other countries selling books and other items in the Victoria Meadows area. It is upsetting when you explain that you don't have time but they continue to try to sell you something you don't intend on purchasing.
Natalie Stevens (Editor) August 13, 2013 at 09:12 PM
For those curious, this is how one goes about obtaining a soliciting permit: http://goo.gl/k3evB3
Anonymous August 13, 2013 at 09:23 PM
This guy was in the Brookside subdivision of Oswego around about the middle of summer...a month or two ago. He is very persistent and even after he figured out I wasn't going to buy anything, he then changed his course of action and wanted help with suggestions for the neighbor houses and showed me his map. It was creepy looking and my first thought was why in the heck he had this hand drawn map with all the Google maps technology these days. I was working outside in the yard and he cornered me in the garage, or I would have closed the door on him. Had I known then what I know now, I would have called the police about half way through our conversation.
Ryan Welch August 13, 2013 at 11:45 PM
These two guys with heavy accents showed up at my door in the Countrysde neighborhood in Yorkville about a month ago. I made the mistake of opening the door while holding my 2 year old daughter. After trying to get me play the guessng-game of which country I thought they were from, they pulled out every children's book they had; long after I told them both I wasn't interested. I had my wife get my daughter ready for bed so I didn't have to deal with the awkwardness of my child wanting to go through all their books. Finally, after realizing they weren't going to make a sale they pulled out a map that looked like a photo copy of a 1990's Rand McNally Atlas (half the streets in the newer neighborhoods in the area weren't are on the thing); found my street and went house to house on the map asking me what the demographics were. I didn't offer much help, since we just moved in recently, and I figured I don't mind my neighbors that much, so why put them through this. FINALLY, just when I thought the awkward conversation would end, one of the kids asked me if I had a few bananas to spare since they apparently hadn't eaten all day. I didn't have bananas so they settled on a couple protein bars and Aldi Waters and off they went. Side Note: while attending NIU as a freshman and living in the dorms in 2002, my next door neighbor signed up for this same company and bothered several of us on the floor for months leading up to the summer-start about how great this program was and how we should sign-up etc...He was a very annoying/strange kid and after talking with these two clowns, I realized that this job was right up my neighbors alley.
Jerry Bannister August 14, 2013 at 09:57 AM
Not to be rude, sexist or hyper-paranoid, but why in the world would you, as a female, open your door to a male that you don't know? Heck even as a male, that isn't exactly tiny, I don't open the door to these types! Please be more careful people! I say this knowing my political friends will be mad at me because "door-knocking" is an often used technic in communicating to possible voters.
L. Leslie August 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM
there was a young black man who rang my doorbell and also opened the screen door & knocked), about a week ago, with tags around his neck and a clipboard (400 blk. of Spring St.). I did not answer the door; I don't open the door to anyone I don't know!!!
Jorie J August 14, 2013 at 12:17 PM
seriously people, pull your paranoid selves together ! and a huge thank you to Mr. Stennett who wants you to believe the russians are coming to get your kids. Unbelievable. Do ANY of you paranoid parents even have a large no soliciting sign directly on your front door? Gee, theres a first step. As noted above he is simply an annoying sales rep. We have all , every single homeowner, had to deal with them. Personally, if you have a bible in your hand at my doorstep, I find you way more annoying. The threat of stranger abduction is actually very rare compared to sex abuse by hands of trusted friends. I'd be more wary of your own neighbors. If you don't have a "no selling here" sign , don't complain when you open your door.
Lisa Elfstrum August 14, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Many of us in our neighborhood have "No Soliciting" signs that are ignored and these sales people have been showing very aggressive and persistent tactics. I'm not here to say that any foreigners are here to kidnap or that others are at the door trying to support themselves, but I will say when there is this much disrespect and in your face strangers constantly barraging your front door, it gets a little old. Most don't mind the local kids from schools, clubs, sports teams and scouts, but having inner city kids dropped off for the day from Chicago to sell candy bars and magazines isn't my idea of a good thing for anyone- the sales kids included. Foreign or not, anyone talking to my kids, asking names of friends and neighbors and not taking no for an answer need to have their "selling permits" revoked. When my kids are outside, dogs are barking like crazy and I'm in a room where the person at my door can see me, I'm going to be polite and answer. Expecting the same respect in return when you're on my property does not seem to be unreasonable. P.S.- While there are plenty of sex offenders amongst us in our own neighborhoods, the sex trafficking here and abroad is a real thing. If you do a little research, you will find it is something to be concerned about- much more than most of us have realized. When we are in our homes, with our families, we should not be constantly subjected to a barrage of strangers at our front door on a daily or weekly basis.
L. Leslie August 14, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I have a no soliciting sign and that hasn't stopped them!! I ask them if they can read...and tell them to leave!!!
Auroran August 18, 2013 at 06:14 PM
The young man in question stopped by my door (in Aurora, near Ogden & Montgomery Road) a few weeks ago. He is from the Slavic regions, and he & another young man (whom I saw him with later that same day) are selling these items to try to raise money so they can go to college another year here in the States. No one is trying to abduct anyone's children, just trying to become legal and hard-working U.S. citizens (eventually). They seem honest and innocent-- although rather persistent. As for the kids from elsewhere dropped off to sell magazines & trashy stuff in suburban neighborhoods, I have seen those too. Many times they've claimed to be from a local school, but can't name even one of the schools in the district. In fact, one year the first of them to stop by told me terribly sad stories of how she alone in the world, on welfare, and the clothes she had were the only ones she owned. I smelled a rat, & politely sent her off empty-handed with some sympathetic comments (her story was too much to believe). A few hours later, another one popped by. Some polite conversation with him revealed that the first girl was their top seller, was a lot older than the high-schooler she claimed to be, and was far from broke. Later that week, a news-magazine-show on TV talked about how most of these kids who are dropped off like that are not even from the same state they are selling in, and all of their sales are scams. If you have the time, offering these salespeople you don't know some water on a hot day and some sympathetic conversation about themselves CAN be VERY revealing about their actual situations and products. At the very least, you will be showing some kindness to some person who might have been cheated into selling garbage they don't really want to sell, but have to in order to get back the "investment" they had to pay in order to sell that trash.
J. Ann August 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM
All I can say is that guy sure gets around!
leigh cohoon August 24, 2013 at 03:43 PM
He came to my house in settlers ridge sugar grove 8am this morning....my son thought it was a neighbor girl coming to play, answered the door...told the man I was busy. My son came back and told me there is a guy at the door and he needs to speak to me...very persistant. Told him I wasn't interested he then showed me some lainyard around his neck ....don't remember the name...he appeared to be Swedish or something similar...the first description is def him...had a blue car. Very annoyed by him....he finally left.


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