Itinerant salesmen peddling cleaning supplies have been causing a stir in Portland’s northern suburbs this week.

Residents in Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth and North Yarmouth have reported unsettling encounters with the door-to-door salesmen, though no crimes have been reported, police said.

Yarmouth residents complained that the salesmen were showing up as late as 8 p.m., said Police Chief Michael Morrill. In other towns, residents objected to what they said were aggressive sales tactics — salesmen not leaving when asked, and spraying cleaner on door glass without permission.

Police in several towns made contact with the salesmen.

The sellers have told customers that they work for Sierra Cleaning, said Cumberland Police Chief Joseph Charron. “When they’re really questioned by homeowners, they tend to skeedoodle,” he said.

Falmouth Police Chief Ed Tolan said his officers checked the salesmen to make sure they had no outstanding arrest warrants, then told them they could not continue selling in town because they lacked required state and local permits.

“A lot of times it’s college kids, and there’s nothing illegal about what they’re doing if they do it the right way,” Tolan said.

Authorities are more concerned about people offering expensive services like tree removal, driveway paving or roof work and doing little or no work, he said.

Police officials said residents should call police to make sure transient sellers have the necessary state and local permits. If a resident doesn’t want to buy the product or service, they should decline and close the door. 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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