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Police & Fire

Norwalk Police: Man In Santa Hat Scared Kids With Pitch For Cleaning

Omari Matthews
Omari Matthews Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

NORWALK, Conn. — One man was arrested after officers responded to a complaint that two men in Santa and antler hats had approached children getting off a school bus on Golden Hill Street on Wednesday, police said. 

The men asked the kids to have their parents come out of their houses to watch a cleaning demonstration, police said. The children quickly left and told their parents, who called police. 

The men left the area in a red van before officers arrived, police said. But officers quickly located the van on Morton Street, police said.

Officers determined that the occupants of the van were soliciting cleaning services on behalf of Gold Coast Distributors of Milford, police said.

One of the solicitors provided his name but intentionally misspelled it to mislead the officers, police said. However, the solicitor’s supervisor provided the proper spelling, which led to the discovery of numerous arrest warrants for solicitor, Omari Matthews, 27, of New Haven, police said.

Matthews was arrested and transported to the Norwalk Police Department for processing. The remaining solicitors were given verbal warning for soliciting without a permit.

Matthews was found to have nine failure to appear arrest warrants from police in New London, Norwich and State Police Troop E. He was also wanted on active warrants from the West Haven and New London Police Departments, police said.

Police offer these guidelines on how to help protect you and your family from illegal solicitors:

  • If you do not know the person, do not open the door. 
  • Always keep doors and windows locked. 
  • Solicitors must have a business license and permit. Call your local law enforcement agency if a solicitor is aggressively attempting to get into your home or refusing to show their license/permit.
  • Do not expect all perpetrators of door-to-door sales scams to look the part. Some are clean and well dressed and use special techniques to try to get into your home or get your money.
  • Always use extreme caution before providing any personal or financial information. 
  • Stand in front of your home to see what is visible from the street. If you can see your valuable items through the front windows, so can potential burglars.

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