Late-night knocks on doors worry residents

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Residents said Monday that they're worried that someone knocking on their doors late at night could be up to no good.

"It just seems highly suspicious," said John Stoker, a west Houston resident.

Stoker said there was a knock on his front door about 9 p.m. on Thursday. He called police.

"He started peeking in through the front door, through the windows on the side. He stayed while the dogs were barking and then he left," said Stoker.

Rita Garcia's encounter was in her driveway around the same time, but on a Sunday night.

"She asked me if I believed in second chances and she was trying to sell a certain amount of magazines," said Garcia.

Stoker and Garcia said their community has become a magnet for people claiming to be door-to-door solicitors, in some cases, knocking on doors as late as 10:30 p.m.

Stoker said he believes it's a recipe for trouble.

"We've got a lot of crime in our neighborhood and to have somebody show up at that time knocking on your door?" Stoker said.

Stoker said the solicitors have become such a nuisance that someone started an online petition to restrict their hours. While the city of Houston has nothing on the books that regulates them, neighborhoods can through deed restrictions.

"The last thing I want to do at 10 o'clock at night when I'm fixing to go to bed is to bring somebody into my house and listen to them give me a sales pitch, if that's what they are actually doing," Stoker said.

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