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Door-to-Door Solicitor Admits Lying About Being Hersey Student; Soliciting Crew Implies Arlington Heights Solicitor Ordinance and License Has No Authority

Mon August 24 2015 12:13 pm
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Arlington Heights police responded about 5:22 PM Friday to a report of a misleading businesses practice by solicitors and failure to comply with the requirement to provide a solicitor’s permit ID in the area of Euclid and Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights. Arlington Heights police received a report that solicitors claimed they were students at Hersey High School that were offering subscriptions to the Chicago Tribune, which in turn involved a donation to Lamb’s Farm — a non-profit organization in Libertyville, Illinois, that provides vocational and residential services for over 250 adults with developmental disabilities.

One student later admitted to police that he lied, and that he and the other student were in fact students at Hoffman Estates High School. They also replied that it is not illegal to lie.

The solicitor’s crew leader was requested to come to the scene. The adult male crew leader reported that he was working for Preferred Vendors Inc. working on behalf of the Chicago Tribune to sell subscriptions/donations. The crew leader said that the students shouldn’t have done that, but stated that it doesn’t matter “it’s (Hoffman Estates) what … a town over?”

The resident that complained about the solicitors decided against having the police issue a citation. Police warned the solicitors not to lie about their circumstances.

The crew leader also implied that local ordinances regarding soliciting have no authority, and the crew leader presented the following text on the back of his badge:

“Selling newspapers is part of Freedom of Press. As this court record indicates:

On Osborn vs. Village of River Forest, 21 III (2nd 246) the court held that “the Village was without authority to enact its ordinance (regulating Pedders [sic] and Solicitors) insofar as it applies … to solicitors for newspaper subscriptions.”

Preferred Vendors Inc.
Representing the Chicago Tribune.

The front of the badge displayed the Chicago Tribune logo.

The crew leader reported that he checked in with the Village of Arlington Heights, but was told to return another day.

In Arlington Heights, solicitors going door-to-door are required to complete a Solicitor & Peddler License Application, which the crew leader implied had no authority, because of the previous court ruling.

The Village of Arlington Heights license application includes the following instructions to solicitors:

“Using the attached sheet, provide the dates and geographic areas for your activities. Pursuant to Chapter 12, Article X of the Village of Arlington Heights Municipal Code, no door-to-door soliciting or peddling is permitted before the hour of 9:00 a.m. or after the hour of 9:00 p.m. and no soliciting or peddling shall occur on Sundays. Additionally, all peddlers and solicitors will comply with any notices containing such words as “NO SOLICITORS AND NO PEDDLERS”. All such notices are to be obeyed by all solicitors and peddlers. Failure to abide by the hours or failure to abide by the notices may be cause for revocation of the permit to solicit or peddle in the Village.”

Solicitors are also required to describe the merchandise or services offered and list the name, address and driver’s license of each canvasser and supervisor.

By displaying the badge text that Preferred Vendor Inc. provided, the crew leader implied that the Village of Arlington Heights has no authority to require the license application because of the previous court ruling involving the Village of River Forest.

A Lamb’s Farm representative in a telephone interview Monday confirmed that the Chicago Tribune was working with an unknown agency to obtain subscriptions for the Chicago Tribune and donations for Lamb’s Farm. Lamb’s Farm has no information on their website to verify the relationship with the Chicago Tribune or the third party.

Previous scams as far back as 2009 have been reported in the Edgeville Buzz — a neighborhood news blog for the Edgewater/Andersonville neighborhoods. The article claims scammers went door-to-door in a scheme that involved selling a “college scholarship fund.” The article reports that Lambs Farm was contacted and denied any knowledge of the scholarship fund.

There is no evidence that Preferred Vendors Inc. is involved in a scam, except for the misrepresentation of a solicitor as a Hersey High School student. However, the opportunity exists for other individuals or criminal crews to mimic Preferred Vendors Inc. activities and commit crimes such as ruse burglaries, simple fraudulent receipt of funds without delivery of merchandise or services, and identity theft.

The solicitors on Friday and the Preferred Vendors Inc. official website claim the Chicago Tribune has donated over $100,000 to Lambs Farm — apparently in part or in total as a result of the work of Preferred Vendors, Inc.

See also …


Preferred Vendors Inc. official website

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