Beware of strangers bearing magazine deals, police warn residents

Law enforcement agencies in the Grand Valley are warning area residents to be cautious of a group of young people claiming to be selling magazines and books.

Police have received several reports of suspicious incidents involving the so-called door-to-door salesmen knocking on doors, checking to see if they are locked, looking into people’s windows and looking into their cars.

At least one resident said the so-called salesmen are going even further.

Grand Junction resident Evelyn Atencio said a young lady claiming to sell magazines came to her home Saturday, asked to use the bathroom and took about 50 prescription pain pills she had just gotten earlier that day.

Atencio said she knows it was the woman because she suffers from fibromyalgia and rarely leaves her home.

“What really (angered) me off was she didn’t take the whole bottle,” Atencio said. “She put some of my blood pressure medication in it and I ended up taking more of that than I should have. She could have killed me.”

She said the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department also didn’t seem to take her case seriously because no deputy came to visit her home. Instead, the department took a report over the phone, and then checked to see if Atencio had a criminal history.

Atencio said she gets mad each time she thinks about the incident.

“I even made the young woman a sandwich. How stupid am I,” she said. “Now when someone comes to the door, I’m not letting them in. That’s the saddest part of all. I used to be trusting.”

Atencio said she at least didn’t buy any magazines.

Law enforcement warns consumers not to let strangers in their homes and not to give them money unless they are absolutely certain it is legitimate.

Police said most reputable companies won’t require customers to purchase items immediately.

Local law enforcement officials also said such incidents are not uncommon, but seem to come and go in waves.

They warn residents to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity in their neighborhood.


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