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Abington Looks to Crack Down on Illegal Solicitation

Abington Police, township discuss recent problems with people going door-to-door

 

Abington Police Lt. Patrick Molloy said in a presentation at the public safety committee last week that there have been several complaints from residents regarding solicitors on their property.

How many? More than 90 complaints since September. Abington Police Chief William Kelly called the situation a “vexing problem.”

Molloy said that many of the solicitors have been “heavy-handed” in their approach and added that many of them are with the company Commerce Energy and have misrepresented themselves as PECO employees, sometimes stepping in residents’ homes.

Commissioner Dennis Zappone said that representatives from Commerce Energy have tried to force their way into senior citizens’ homes in his ward.

Molloy and Kelly both said that police have made arrests and issued citations in these incidents. They also said that the police department has reached out to Commerce Energy's parent company regarding the issue.  

In January, the board will look to revise its ordinance on solicitation. The proposed ordinance will require each solicitor to receive a criminal history check. Also, if one representative from a company violates the solicitation ordinance, the entire company will be banned from soliciting in the township.

Click here to read the township's current policy on solicitation.

“Our officers got angry that people were coming in our town and harassing our citizens in their home,” Kelly said, “and that’s totally unacceptable.”

Right now, residents may sign up to be placed on a township-wide do-not-solicit list by calling the township or stopping by the Abington Police records room.


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Check back later for an update regarding the ordinance.

Chuck December 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM
We live just outside the Abington Township border in Jenkintown and have had the same solicitors. They do not leave when asked and continue trying to convince you that this is something you must do right away. They do identify themselves as representatives of "your electric company" and at the same time mention that PECO is requiring you to make this choice. So they imply they reresent PECO.
Chuck December 11, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Sorry for the typo, the last line should read "represent PECO".
maria vandervliet December 11, 2012 at 03:16 PM
So glad something is being done about this, I think its hilarious that these people think this is going to get business... You've knocked on my door no less than 5 times, and been an asshat each and every time, i don't care if your energy is free, i'm not doing business with you.
Robin Warshaw December 11, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Great idea about the "do-not-solicit" window stickers! I hope Patch will let us know when they are available.
Cadillac Man December 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I have had the same energy co. Try and push to sign up NOW! I first asked for ID, which she did not have, but still insisted for my signature! I then asked for a biz card so I could look into her company online... Again... No cards. I told her, I'm not signing anything until I looked into her company. She then left in a huff!!! Way to do biz guys!!! Lol!!! Geezzze!!!!
PJ December 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
They are walking Tyson avenue AGAIN today. This is the 4th time in less than a week. I told them the next time they step foot on my property I'm calling the police. Getting sick of these people.
Mary/Ideas in Bloom December 11, 2012 at 08:05 PM
When I told the very young solicitor that I wasn't interested, she pleaded with me that she was a single Mom, worked on commission, and needed the money! Other aggressive solicitors have tried to convert me to their religious beliefs.Now I am reluctant to answer the door.
Glensider December 11, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I had some guys try to come and give me roofing estimates at night and I think they were filming me with their phone! I need a sticker how can we get one?

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