Door-to-door salesmen take things too far with Michiana woman

People selling items door-to-door have been around for years, but when does a simple demonstration turn into a potentially dangerous one?

Residents around St. Joseph County have had numerous visits by these salesmen, the most recent being Monday.

Many if not all of the reports say that these men are going around selling Kirby Vacuums for a company known as Kissella Distributing Company.

These vacuums seem to average about $2,000, and this time some say these sellers may have taken things too far.

“They asked me if I was interested in buying a sweeper and I said no,” says 89-year-old Vera.

She was coming out of her garage when a greenish-blue minivan pulled up trying to sell her a vacuum. A simple no didn't seem to stop them.

“So there I was with three fellas in the house and no protection, and I don't think that’s right. They just asked if I had credit and my social security number and all the things that they don't need to know,” continues Vera.

Luckily her daughter noticed the van, realized that they had been at the house for more than two hours, and that's when she knew she had to step in.

“We went into the living room. I have one man on my right one man directly in front of me and one on my left. And here is my mom standing back in the corner and they are all talking to me at the same time, pressuring me now and I’m like 'my God;' she had no ability to defend herself,” says Vera’s daughter, Penny.

Penny said after saying no over and over again they finally got the men out of the house.

Later they found out they weren't the only victims. The same thing happened right down the street, where a neighbor had a similar story to tell.

“They asked for your social security number, which I know is not a good thing to do. I don't think people should be forced into buying something now, today, right now - it's not cool,” says neighbor Nancy Kessler.

“As you interviewed my mom she said, ‘I don't think that they were bad men’, that’s the problem because she was gullible she thought that they were ok and that’s why they prey on them,” says Penny, “There was no attack but here she was shook up for days, so here we are three days later now finally talking about it because she is able to.”

If that story doesn't set off some red flags, then this might:

When trying to sell these vacuums, the same seller told these two families two different stories as to why he needed the money.

The reason we know it was the same guy is because he left each of them the same business card.

If something like this happens to you, and you sense something is not right, get them out of your house and call the police.

Luckily, that is exactly what this family did, and now the police are looking into this and patrolling the area.

If you have a similar story, or have a break in in your area we would like to hear about it. Just email Christine Karsten.


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