Local News

Raleigh Woman Fights off 'Salesman' Trying to Enter Home

Posted May 18, 2007
Updated May 19, 2007

— Police say people posing as a salesmen or repairmen have tried to enter three residences in southwest Raleigh during the past two weeks.

In one case, a woman had to fight to keep them out.

Two men told Betsy Hannah, 64, that they were selling vacuum cleaners and became irate when she wouldn’t let them into the home for a test.

“(They were) just screaming at me until I just had to try to get rid of them,” Hannah said.

Hannah said she knew something was wrong when the men showed up at her house.

“He just kept saying, ‘This is free. All we have to do is come in and demonstrate this product for you,’” she said. “I would back up…and he would just keep coming at me, and I would (say), ‘No no, you're not coming in,’” she said.

She turned and tried to walk back up her steps, but the man started screaming at her, she said. So, she fought back.

“He just wouldn't stop, and finally, I got so upset and so angry I just shoved him away and said, ‘Get out, I'm going to call the police,’” she said.

Hannah said the men pulled up to her home in an unmarked red van. So far, investigators only have vague descriptions of the men in question.

In another case, a man claimed to be with a cable company and asked to enter the house. He left when the resident refused. Authorities later discovered the company wasn’t doing work in the area.

In the third incident, two men said they were with a home security company and asked questions about a nearby home. Investigators later found they didn’t work for the company they claimed.

Investigators said they still aren't sure if the incidents are related but warn residents to call 911 immediately to report suspicious people, vehicles or activities.

"Officers would much prefer to respond and learn that nothing is wrong than to be called alter to investigate a crime," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said  Friday in an e-mail.


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  • plcj May 20, 2007

    So called MEN preying on the weak and elderly. What, if anything, do these preditors think they will gain? Idiots!!!!

  • Tired Of Excuses May 20, 2007

    No description eh? Who cares! Let the moron come to MY house...I'll have something waiting for him and it won't be milk and cookies.

  • IfByWhiskey-a-go-go May 20, 2007

    Answer the door holding a .357 Magnum. That will expose their true motives faster than a cat will lick it's own &$%#.

    Believe it. :)

  • onthedot May 20, 2007

    Ubangi Lipscomb, you have some self-esteem & self-image issue, dude. It sounds like you think it is okay to shoot someone down simply because that individual was lack of respect. You need to have your head & heart to exam. If your thinking is that strong it will act on one day. I am serious, for your sake and your fellow men/women please go see a priest, clergy, or a "shrink".

  • Matthew 19_21 May 20, 2007

    probably because a description would be politically incorrect

  • S-O-L May 20, 2007

    Why no discription?

  • briancraig81 May 19, 2007

    I had someone come to my house in Angier about 4 this afternoon. It was a young black chick and she said she was going around doing some kind of contest for a $500 gas card and if I would be interested which I said no. Then she said she had a special tryout offer for a kirby vacum. She asked who did the cleaning and I told her I did and she asked if she could come in and give me a demonstration. I sharply told her no,that I was'nt interseted. So she told me to have a good day and I told her the same. I hope this stuff is'nt going to be a regular thing going on down here.

  • The Professor May 19, 2007

    This is a case tailor made for the death penalty. Lethal injection is too good for these scum.

  • Peter the Pony May 19, 2007

    Definitely Kirby scam artists. They've come by my place 3x over the years.

  • angora May 19, 2007

    When these types of folks come to my door, I look through the peep hole and start banging on the door, screaming and making noises like a lunatic. They usually start backing off, I increase my volume, and they hasten away. Or, I come out of the side door with my phone, sneak up behind them at the front door, yell, "HEY, WHADDYA WANT?" with the phone in my ear. They usually run off.