A single salesman going door-to-door throughout parts of Garvin County earlier this week apparently put a scare into some residents and authorities on high alert for a time.
In the end it was determined the suspicious sales person, whose name was not released, was in fact working for a legitimate campaign, even though the man’s aggressive approach alarmed a number of residents in the area.
Concerns about the salesman started to flood into the sheriff’s office here as early as Monday night as rural residents reported the man soliciting the sales was very persistent and “frightened” a lot of people.
“We received numerous calls about him,” Sheriff Larry Rhodes said. “He’s very assertive in his approach.
“It’s alarming residents for this stranger to come up to their house and knock on their door,” he said. “He got a lot of rural residents alarmed.
“It’s just a different society today. I don’t blame anyone for being alarmed when a stranger comes by their door. It was alarming a lot of people and they were calling us. But that’s what we want people to do.”
The first reports about the man were for sales calls north and west of Pauls Valley on Monday evening.
Then on Tuesday morning the man made a stop at Rhodes’ own residence near Paoli, where he spoke with the sheriff’s wife. He was tracked down by Rhodes and a deputy a short time later while still in the Paoli area.
“He is legitimate. He was soliciting children’s education materials,” Rhodes said, adding the man is based out of the Norman area.
“He has been checked out, and I don’t feel that he’s a threat to the community. We found nothing criminal in his actions.”
Along with the man’s aggressive sales approach, other factors leading to problems included the man being dressed in plain clothes, he offered no credentials and no markings were on his vehicle, which also had a Pennsylvania license tag.
All of that led to many people being suspicious and a bit scared of the salesman, who apparently was in the rural areas outside of any city limits because no permit was needed.
Rhodes said they determined the man had also been soliciting sales in the rural areas of McClain County before coming here.
“In the spirit of cooperation he agreed to do his solicitations in another county,” the sheriff said.
Also part of the situation were the many rumors about the salesman that were apparently flying around on such social media as Facebook, much of which were apparently just not true.
“Many of things being said were half-truths,” Rhodes said.
“Not everything you see on Facebook is true and that was the case here.”