Wenham Police Department
Thomas Perkins, Chief of Police
1 Friend Court
PO Box 536
Wenham, MA 01984
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Police Investigating Solicitors Burglarizing Homes in Surrounding Communities
Unregistered Solicitors Knocking on Front Doors, Breaking into Back Doors If No One Answers
WENHAM — Police Chief Thomas Perkins advises Wenham residents to be on alert after police in three surrounding communities have begun investigating a pattern of burglaries and larcenies that appear to be connected to employees of a door-to-door solicitation company.
Employees for Urban Nation, a Texas-based company, are allegedly responsible for the break-ins, which began in Reading, North Reading, and Wakefield late last week.
“While the Wenham Police Department hasn’t yet received any reports of these behaviors, I want residents to be aware of this situation so they can be on alert,” Chief Perkins said. “We can work together as a community by reporting any suspicious activity and looking out for one another until this situation is ultimately resolved.”
According to investigators, the burglars/solicitors are from an out-of-state company and tasked with selling magazine subscriptions. They have been knocking on front doors for a sales call and then breaking in, usually through a rear door, and helping themselves to packages left on the doorstep if no one appears to be home.
Last week, there were several reports made in relation to this case. North Reading Police received several calls from residents reporting solicitors going door to door. In Wakefield, the Police Department investigated a case in which an Urban Nation solicitor went through a parcel left on a homeowner’s front steps.
On Friday, Sept. 4, the Reading Police Department arrested a man from Urban Nation, after police, responding to calls about aggressive unregistered solicitors, found him with stolen merchandise from a home on Van Norden Road in Reading.
LADERIUS ALTON LOWE, AGE 22, OF DETROIT was charged with Breaking and Entering During the Daytime with the Intention to Commit a Felony and Receiving Stolen Property over $250.
Police later encountered another solicitor from Detroit who informed them he works for Urban Nation. After further investigation, police determined that the dozen or so men from all over the country were dropped off by a rental van in North Reading to conduct their solicitations. As many as 100 people may have been flown into the Boston area by Urban Nation.
“Thanks to the teamwork between several law enforcement agencies in the area, investigators have been able to identify this pattern of behavior so that surrounding towns and cities can protect themselves by alerting community members in advance,” Chief Perkins said.
Police have determined that several of the Urban Nation solicitors have long criminal histories including burglary and larceny in other states.
Residents are asked to call the Wenham Police Department at 978-468-4000 if they see any suspicious people or aggressive solicitors in their neighborhoods.