In February, we had a great example of our Neighborhood Watch working the way it’s designed to! A neighbor called to say that a man was at her front door asking if she needed any work done. She did not feel comfortable opening the door to speak with him. He left and proceeded to another house on the street. What would you do? Call the police non-emergency number – 703-691-2131!
She did. At the same time, a member of our Neighborhood Watch team who had been visited by the man’s partner called the police with a description of the man and his vehicle. The police arrived within minutes and charged the men with soliciting without a license. It’s good to see things work the way they should.
Officer Jim Reid, Franconia’s Crime Prevention Officer, had emailed alerts just prior to this incident. He wrote, “I want to alert you to something that has occurred at least once in each the Franconia and Mt Vernon Districts during the month of January. Solicitors knocked on doors of elderly residents and offered to do tree work. The subjects then performed a few minutes of shoddy work and significantly overcharged the residents. Unfortunately, it is not illegal to overcharge. However, most of these individuals do not have solicitors’ licenses, and that is a violation for which we can place a charge. Please keep an eye out for these individuals and call our non-emergency number 703-691-2131 if they are seen in your neighborhood. They are targeting those who may be vulnerable, so please check on your senior citizen neighbors. Encourage them to call and make a report if this has happened to them.”
The police are happy to investigate anything that seems abnormal or suspicious – anything that’s out of the ordinary for your neighborhood. You can call the non-emergency number (or even 911 in a real emergency where the situation and timing are critical) and remain anonymous, if that’s what you want.
Our neighborhood is always in need of eyes and ears; we need to watch out for each other. The Neighborhood Watch teams would love to have your help! All it takes is 45 minutes of your driving through our neighborhood once a month. There is no confrontation involved. Anything that is to be reported can be done by internet or by phone.
Please contact the Crime Prevention Officer at 703-922-8263 or SCA at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more information.