By Mary O’KEEFE
Glendale police arrested six people for soliciting for a donation for magazines without a permit in the city of Glendale.
Glendale officers received several calls from residents concerning suspicious men going door-to-door selling magazines in the area of Santa Carlotta Street and Glencove Avenue. The officers were told by witnesses the men were demanding and seen rustling through bushes in the surrounding neighborhood. They were also alleged seen exiting the yard of a vacant home n the area.
Officers found two men, Terrey Conway, 19, and Brandon Mears, 24, who reportedly told officers they were part of a group that sold magazines subscriptions as part of a sales contest. They allegedly told officers they worked for Atlantic Circulation, Inc., a company located in Pennsylvania.
A customer service operator with ACI said the company was unaware of any arrest because the people that sold the magazines were not actually working for them. They were “independent sales contractors.”
“We are a processing center,” she added.
Conway and Mears alleged told officers they were from the east coast and had only recently arrived in California. They said they began this type of work because it would allow them to travel. They reportedly told potential customers that if they purchased a subscription, the sellers would accumulate points that would earn them a trip to Europe or Hawaii.
“We had seven victims contact [GPD],” said Sgt. Tom Lorenz. “They felt they were being intimidated with the [sellers’] aggressive tactics.”
One of the victims was a 91-year-old woman, he added.
The two were working as a sales team and had been in the Tujunga, Glendale and La Crescenta areas. During the investigation, a white Ford van arrived with four individuals who were also selling magazine subscriptions. The driver, Derek Nelson, 20, said he was from Utah. Also in the van were Shelby Harley, 19, and Shyane Paulins, 18, who both told officers they were from Florida. Also in the van was Dustin Mansfield, 25.
Those who were arrested said they were not aware that they needed a permit to solicit within the city of Glendale. Mansfield told officers he had been selling magazines for approximately eight years. After an investigation officers found several magazine subscriptions that had been purchased by people living in the Glendale area. The city of Glendale has a Municipal Code that prohibits “peddlers” and soliciting magazine subscriptions and sales for future delivery. All six were arrested in accordance with the code.
Lorenz said the police take the city code very seriously. Selling magazine subscriptions has been used in the past by those who would burglarize the area. They use this tactic in determining if a resident was home.
The fact that local residents contacted the police is an advantage for the department. With cut backs and less resources it is important that residents are the eyes and ears for the police, Lorenz said.
The command district officers are keenly aware of their area and respond quickly when residents call.
“We want to know who is in our community,” Lorenz said, “who is knocking on our doors.”