Seedy Summer Ahead?
Trespassers and solicitors on Bainbridge are not big news to anyone. I’m sure we have all had our share of front-door visitors trying to sell something or inform a customer about a club in the intentions of recruiting cash or business. Nothing too serious. Just a little playful.
However, that was not the impression my mother’s description of a threatening individual coming onto our lawn gave me. Nothing seemed playful about it.
A man, late thirties, had been walking alone along the beach by our house. Although there is a sign on the beach that say no trespassing, it is not uncommon for individuals who cannot read to come teetering across the private property looking for sea life to poke with their boots or shells to collect. My mother, who wasn’t alone at the house but was sitting by the window, looked out and saw the man. There wasn’t much else to think of it. Just someone who wasn’t respecting the law on our Island.
That was, until, he stopped and stared at the house.
That, unlike trespassers, is extremely uncommon.
The situation escalated as the man, spotting my mother in the window watching him, began approaching the house from the beach.
At that point, a 911 call was made. My mother was not alone in the house, and my father was called out of his office to go down to the shore and investigate. The man began to turn around, seeing another human who was not exactly carrying a welcome mat, approach him.
The individual was lost as he scattered down the shore to the end of the cove.
This event is not a singular misfortune. There has been many other recent reports of similar threatening situations across Bainbridge, which my mother had been following on a site called Neighborhood Bainbridge. Your parents may have heard of it, and may even be a part of it.
One of the users listed as Cherie Francois reported that two men approximately late 20’s had come to her house advertising under an illegitimate magazine business. They had first approached her son, asking if his parents were home. The concerned homeowner then asked for the names of the hostile men. They replied with. “Denzel Washington,” and “Will Smith.”
Really. I kid you not.
Another user named Jennifer Wallach said that the same men approached her as she pulled up to her garage after coming home from work. She commented that the men said to her, “You’re home! We’ve been waiting for you to get home!” The homeowner replied, “No thank you,” and shut the garage door, going to check on her child that had been left home alone. She also commented that something about the situation did not feel right and that the same men had been “overly aggressive–and not in a friendly way.”
Another Neighborhood Bainbridge user named Cathy Weiss said that someone came to their door a little after 5pm selling magazines. “Didn’t seem legit,” was one of the terms she used to describe the man who came. The paper he had with other people’s orders and signatures, she said “looked like a photocopy and was very old and beat up.”
None of these people had legitimate or any permits. Trespassing, soliciting and advertising without a permit is against the law on Bainbridge as well as Washington state.
Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot the police can do, even if they were called in on all four of these cases. Without substantial proof of harassment or damage or loss of property, nothing can really be done about solicitors other than a warning and a stern look.
It is unknown whether these solicitors have been caught. In many similar instances, other Neighborhood Bainbridge users said the police were called in and reports were filed, but BIPD never got back to any of them.
This is warning to stay safe this summer. Threats and dangerous situations like these don’t go away. Be sure to stay cautious and alert all through the summer, because no one is immune to misfortune.