Posted at: 08/26/2013 1:49 PM
Updated at: 08/26/2013 2:49 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com
Several southern New Mexico police departments are trying to calm the community's fears after a notice urging residents to watch out for a suspicious salesman warped into a rumor about a kidnapping.
The notice was first issued in Silver City after the school district received reports of a suspicious man selling children's books near the area. The man was reportedly using an aggressive selling technique, including asking neighbors which houses in their neighborhood have children living in them and what ages the children were.
The Silver Consolidated School District issued an alert to residents after CYFD became concerned that this could be part of a human trafficking operation.
Southwestern Advantage, the business mentioned in the letter, does have door-to-door booksellers legitimately working in Las Cruces, but the Las Cruces Police Department has not received any reports of criminal activity related to that organization.
Employees of that business have applied for and been granted permits to sell door-to-door in Las Cruces. Background checks have been conducted on two employees of the business and the organization, based in Nashville, Tenn., appear to be legitimate.
More information on Southwestern Advantage can be obtained from the Better Business Bureau.
Roswell police said any information suggesting a child has been kidnapped in the area is not true, but they do acknowledge that door-to-door salespeople are in the area. Police urge residents to talk to their neighbors if they do not want any information about their family released to door-to-door salesmen. Police suggest residents not open their doors if they feel uncomfortable.
If you see suspicious activity, your asked to file a report with your local law enforcement agency.