Local News

Aug 27, 2013 6:23 PM by Janine Reyes

6 Investigates: Door to Door Vendor Causes Concern for Parents with Young Kids

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Some parents are concerned about a woman who's going door to door claiming to sell books for children.

We've received several emails from viewers who have been approached by the woman with a foreign accent.

6 Investigates wanted to know if the woman is a valid vendor or a child predator trying to abduct children.

A home school mother tells us she encountered that woman in her neighborhood in Flour Bluff Tuesday. She didn't get the woman's name, but she did call police and by the time officers got out here they were not able to track her down.

"She's probably my age, 30-31, heavyset real strong built and glasses," said Nicole Grinkavitch. She may be the most recent parent to come in contact with a woman described on facebook as a potential child predator, going door to door asking to meet with the children in the home.

Parents in the coastal bend are sharing the message, so far more than 2000 times, it claims those parents worry the woman is trying to recruit children for sex trafficking.

Grinkavitch told us some of the questions the woman asked. "Can I come in and sit on your couch, can I talk to your children, so many children do you have today and are you home every day," she said.

Grinkavitch did not get the woman's name, and tonight, that's a key piece of information police would like to know. "If you've made contact with her and you do have her name, you can always give us a call, we can check her out," said Captain Michael Alanis.

They stress there is no proof of any crime or any evidence that concerns them.

"We've reached out to the company who apparently she works for, the company has been in business for over 160 years, Southwestern Advantage, and what it seems like is they bring in students from not only across the country but overseas who are independent resellers of the books," said Captain Michael Alanis with Corpus Christi Police.

A representative for Southwest Advantage tells us independent sellers have a student visa to live here and go through an interview and training process to sell their books.

Police say door to door vendors have caused concern before even when they're doing nothing wrong.

But, it's always best to air on the side of safety and if you're uncomfortable, don't let them in.

That's what Grinkavitch did. "I said no, I said I'm not interested at all, and she said can we come back, and then I had to slam the door in her face, essentially," she said.

A Southwest Advantage representative did confirm to 6 News that they have four women selling their product here in our community they have tried to reach out to them, but have so far been unsuccessful.

Police confirmed late this afternoon, those four women with Southwest Advantage do have a permit to sell door to door. They plan to be in the Coastal Bend for three more days.


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