Book Peddler Raising Concern In County

Book salesmen going door to door in Kosciusko County asking about children are raising some concerns, but police say no criminal activity of any kind has been reported in association with them.

Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Chad Hill said county residents have contacted police over the last two weeks to inquire especially about one specific individual in a dark red or maroon colored Ford Mustang. “There have been reports of this person, with an unidentifiable accent, looking predominately to sell children’s books or educational materials,” he said.

The suspect’s vehicle, always reportedly the same maroon Mustang, also has an out-of-state license plate.

Hill said no incident reports have been filed, but officers did locate the vehicle and the driver after receiving calls from residents. “He does have all the necessary permits for the city, but in the county he doesn’t need (permits),” Hill explained. “The information we have is that it is more prevalent in the afternoon or evenings.”

Conversations on Facebook have had local citizens questioning the validity of the salesman’s purpose while others say the materials he is trying to sell are quite expensive. One online blog even posted information about similar salespersons in other states, but that also failed to identify any criminal acts associated with them.

Tim Ellis of Warsaw said he recently came upon the “old maroon colored Mustang with Wisconsin plates” at 400 South and County Farm Road, Warsaw. “I stopped and asked him if he was lost. He said ‘no,’ and I noticed he was hand drawing a little map of the area. I asked him what he was doing. He said, ‘Oh, I’m selling books.’ He had a slight accent, too. I said, ‘Well listen nobody wants guys like you around here so you best be on your way’.”

In the same Facebook conversation, Karla Shepherd of Leesburg added, “We had a young guy in an old dark red Mustang stop at our house twice. He knocked on the door and windows for a quite a while! I didn’t answer, then he went down to our neighbor’s house and said he was in college selling books for kids.”

While it stands to reason that the salesmen would look for homes where children live and ask the residents the ages of the children for the purpose of selling the material, Sgt. Hill said, “In this day and age, always be alert … but if you’re not interested, close the door.”

Comments

Book Peddler Raising Concern In County — 14 Comments

    • If we want books for our children we will go to the store and purchase them. We dont need creeps coming to our homes asking about our children. He is not welcome in or at my home i know that for sure!!!!

    • Maybe a lesson in “tact” could be included in your training? I notice friends all over Facebook today in Southern Michigan and Indiana posting about this topic. There is even an article on Snopes explaining how this is not a child-sex-ring. If this is the reaction your sales staff are getting, how effective a presenation must they be giving?

    • Are all of your other pedlers that are selling these text books European college students? I find it kind of funny that all of these reports revolve around strange individuals with accents asking about children and where they can locate more homes with children. I’m not sure where you developed your maketing techniques, but asking questions like that about my child and my neighor’s kids is more than likely terms of being chased away by a big angry biker with a .12 gauge shot gun. Call me the unfriendly American, but when someone comes to my front door asking odd questions about children, you kind of get what you ask for.

  1. He seemed kinda weird to me, the unrecognizable accent thing didn’t help. He told me he was from South America but like, that’s a continent not a country so that immediately raised my blood pressure and suspicion. I had to tell him to leave twice and he scrambled pretty quickly after the second one. He could very well be a legitimate peddler and genuinely persistent. But these days it is a rare and uncommon thing, best to be cautious.

  2. Southwestern Advantage books are obscenely over priced! I stupidly bought some years ago. There is tiny fine print that says you have 3 days to get a refund. When I noticed it after a week, they wouldn’t give me my money back. I now have “educational books” that my kids no longer use and I stupidly paid hundreds of dollars for them. They aren’t even that good. And if you are going to have shady salesman who look more like stalkers than salesman, your begging for them to be run out of town. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! DON’T BUY THE BOOKS!!!! And DON’T EVER give out information about your children or the children in your neighborhood! I didn’t, but I’ve heard these new salesman do. Don’t do it!!!! These salesman are TOO shady!!!

  3. Wow. A guy trying to earn his own money to pay for school. Plus he gets to meet new people and travel. What an idiot! I’m so glad people aren’t this mean to me for trying to earn a living.

  4. He came to our house and had a list of names of families and their kids in the neighborhood. I was very nervous because he was so persistent and kept asking how old my kids were. I finally got a little angry with him and asked him to leave. My neighbor had the same thing this weekend and he told me they guy just wouldn’t leave. He kept asking to see the children. Finally he said he wag going to call the police if he didn’t leave and he left. Hope he is just a persistent sales person but unfortunately who knows these days

  5. People still sell books door to door? Where’s the milk man and the fuller brush salesman? I would be happier with a ice cream truck at least that’s something we could eat.

  6. He just left our home in the out skirts of Warsaw close to Leesburg. Same identical vehicle. I questioned where he was from due to accent. He replied Bulgaria but was living in a family home in Mishawaka. He kept requesting information about our children and their education etc. (BIG RED FLAG) He kept naming names of people in the area; asking if we knew them & telling us that he had just spoken to and sold to them.(BIG RED FLAG #2) When we told the young man we weren’t interested he proceeded to open his back pack & pull out the book(s) & discuss his product & program. Immediately after we were able to get away from him & get him on his way My husband got onto Stacey’s page & pulled up this article.

  7. We had this young man stop by our house. Yes he was persistent, but he was also very polite and respectful. As far as the material he was selling it is actually quite good and inexpensive. My family has homeschooled for years and we liked the cost and quality of the material. We actually spent time talking to the young man as well. It was a cultural experience for us as well as this young man. Yes, be cautious but don’t be rude and bigoted.