LAKE FOREST PARK, Wash. — Police started getting calls from homeowners about a man knocking on doors and trying to take pictures of their neighborhood.
Julie Houff said Wednesday she was home alone Monday afternoon, when a man walked up to her front porch and told her he needed to come inside.
“He said I’m here to assess and I need to inspect your home,” she said.
The man didn’t have any identification on him. Houff said that raised some red flags.
“My alert went on high. I needed to get rid of him quickly because I didn’t know who he was, where he’s from, why he’s here.”
The man left. But the next morning, Houff’s boyfriend saw a man with the same description taking pictures in the neighborhood. He told Doc Leong he worked as an assessor, but couldn’t prove it.
“He said his truck was in the shop and he left my business card in there,” Leong said.
After checking with the King County’s Assessor’s Office, Leong contacted Lake Forest Park Police, asking them to investigate.
“I gave them the license plate number and the car. I tried to get a picture of him.”
On Wednesday night, police confirmed that the man works for a bank and visited the neighborhood for legitimate business purposes. But they say these neighbors did the right thing by alerting them.
“When someone comes into your house, there's vast amount of information they could be collecting,” Houff says. “There’s a lot of opportunism going on, ways to con people into doing all kinds of things they don't need to do.”
The King County Assessor’s Office say their employees always identify themselves, and will alert homeowners in advance when they need to come on their property.