Community alarmed by man knocking on doors asking for work - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Community alarmed by man knocking on doors asking for work

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ST. ALBANS -

Unless you are expecting visitors, a knock on the door can be alarming, especially late at night.

Some St. Albans residents along McKinley Avenue said a stranger came to their door asking for work Tuesday evening around 8:30.

"I thought about it afterwards and I thought well that was stupid," Rita Garbin said about her decision to crack her door and talk to the man.

Several residents said they were approached by a thin man in his 20's. He told one woman that he needed money to feed his kids until he got paid.

"I first thought I could give him groceries and then I realized he may just be bumming money for drugs and I opted not to do that," said a woman who asked their her name not be used, for fear that he would come to her house again.

He had asked that woman if her gutters needed cleaned. Garbin said he asked her if she needed her lawn mowed.

"He looked kind of frustrated," Garbin said. "I told him 'no I already had someone that did mine'."

While nothing happened this time both women said it is a warning to be careful whenever you open the door.

"This is an older neighborhood and there are a few people that live by themselves," Garbin said.

One of the neighbors called the St. Albans Police Department to report the man. Captain James Agee said an officer was in the area around 4 minutes after the call. Officers were not able to locate the man.

"You don't want to have to deal with people taking drugs knocking on your door. There are people that have children right here," said the unidentified woman.

Captain Agee said there is no way to know what the person's true intentions were.

An officer patrolled the neighborhood for several minutes after responding to the initial call.

Captain Agee said he does not recommend letting strangers in your home unless they have a prior appointment. If they are a repair person that you have scheduled to have visit they should have credentials. Captain Agee said it is a common method for burglars to knock on the door to see if anyone is home. If there is no answer the burglar will then force entry. He said another common technique is for criminals to get into the house by tricking the resident and either taking things while their back is turned or using force to subdue them while they steal items.

He said criminals count on a person's good nature and then take advantage of them.

Agee is also reminding residents that it is not rude to talk to a stranger through a closed door or storm door.