Local News

Raleigh Woman Fights off 'Salesman' Trying to Enter Home

Posted May 18, 2007 11:26 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2007 10:42 a.m. EDT

— 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.