Police: Door-to-door booksellers are legitimate

VILLA HILLS, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- A Facebook post about some northern Kentucky door-to-door sales people created quite a stir but police said there was nothing to fear. Some people claimed Russian students posing as book-sellers were actually casing homes to abduct children. For a couple of weeks two Estonian students, a young man and a young woman, were going door-to-door in Erlanger, Villa Hills and Fort Mitchell selling books. Rumors spread online from other parts of the country and got picked up in the Tri-State. Police encouraged people to be careful, but said the two were booksellers not kidnappers.As recently as Friday morning, July 31, a young Estonian woman was riding her bike through Villa Hills selling books door-to-door. Earlier the same week, she knocked on Dave Freytag's door, "Asked if I was interested in purchasing some kind of educational assistance material for kids."He wasn't. Gave her a glass of water and that was it.Freytag said, "As I closed the door my daughter said, 'Hey, Dave I saw this thing on the internet or somewhere that there's somebody trying to steal kids or something like that.'"Friday morning a concerned northern Kentuckian forwarded Local 12 news a Facebook post that claimed pushy salespeople knocking on doors in Villa Hills and Erlanger were actually Russian criminals into human trafficking. Police said they checked out the rumors and found nothing. Villa Hills police Chief Bryan Allen said, "We stopped them several times once we got the complaints and both checked out. Both had permits from Kenton County to sell in this county. Both came and got our no knock list we have in the city. Both of them are with Southwestern Advantage which is a book company that has been in existence for quite a while."Chief Allen contacted the company; they assured him nothing was improper, "Better business bureau has looked at it and said it's not a legitimate complaint."Villa Hills police have posted a notice on their Facebook page that said the booksellers were not a threat. Legitimate or not, police encourage people to be careful, not let salesmen in, don't provide them with personal information and use common sense. Dave Freytag said his encounter with the bookseller went well but he had a sneaking suspicion when he opened his front door.Fort Mitchell police said they heard similar complaints about pushy salespeople with foreign accents. Sergeant Matt Robinson said they did background checks on them and they have the proper permits to go door-to-door. Police said the booksellers were legitimate but people should still be careful of any solicitation at their home. If people are suspicious of their intent, shut the door and call the police immediately.

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