Bath Township Police Department
Wednesday, February 15th, late afternoon:
The dogs saw the older model blueish van pulling up the driveway and immediately went nuts. I saw a young man jump out of the passenger door and come jogging up to the front door of our house. I opened the door cautiously, stepped halfway out onto the porch, and tried to hear what he was saying.
“You must be the man of the house,” were the first words out of his mouth.
From what I gathered in between the noise of the dogs’ barks and howls, was that he would “get paid if I just let him come in and tell me about this silly cleaner.” The colorful bottle read Fabuloso.
The young man had curly brown hair a bit like a mop, light brown skin and bore a pleasant enough smile. His story, however, was quite unconvincing. The whole episode seemed questionable to me, so, as quickly as he asked — twice — if my dogs would eat him, I told him I wasn’t interested.
He said “OK” and took off jogging back toward the van, jumped in the passenger side, and the van backed quickly down the driveway and then barreled down the road. I took notice that it did not stop in my neighbor’s driveway.
My wife noted that they probably spotted the security camera pointing directly at our driveway and just wanted to get away quick.
Shortly after this happened, she shared a photo on Facebook of our oldest dog, the ever-loyal Kyan, laying at her feet, on guard, protecting her from the stranger trying to sell us something.
That’s when a Facebook friend brought to her attention that the very situation we had encountered, was happening throughout mid-Michigan, and local authorities have issued a warning to avoid these people and call 911.
Reading through the comments on the department’s Facebook page, apparently, this group, travelling in two different but similar older model vans, have allegedly been visiting homes from Hillsdale to Eaton Rapids to Bath to Perry and now, right here, in rural Durand.
There is a female whose description is very similar to that of the gentleman’s that visited us. In one alleged situation, WILX-TV reports a person allowed her into the home and then into the bathroom. After the young woman left, the homeowner realized that the woman had unlocked a bathroom window.
Bath Township Police Department advises that if you encounter these people or this situation, do NOT open your door and immediately call 911 or BTPD at 517-641-6271 so that police can question the persons involved.
They also advise that one of the vans is said to have a license plate beginning with DJH.
One last note: the whole “You must be the man of the house” line — well, it seems, that is a line they’ve used more than just with me, and perhaps, it’s one way to size up the situation; to find out who all might be in the home at any given time. Among the many user comments on the BTPD Facebook page, one person mentioned that when they refused to let one of these “sales people” into their home, that person responded with “let me speak to the man of the house.”
Spread the word. And PS — yes, my dogs will eat you.
Josh Strickland is Founder and Publisher of Uplift Shiawassee, Durand Now LLC and The Durand Now Network. He has three adopted dogs. Big, scary, mean, hungry dogs.