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“Stranger with puppy” approaches children in Mason City; residents concerned


This news story was published on June 20, 2013.
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The white van seen by residents.

The white van seen by residents.  Photo taken by nearby residents.

MASON CITY – Area residents told NorthIowaToday.com Thursday that they are concerned about a man they say approached children while carrying a puppy.

Police confirmed today that Wednesday night at 8:43 pm, a resident in the 200 block of South Louisiana reported a man had been at their residence a few minutes earlier. The man claimed to be a salesman for DirectTV but had a dog with him and spoke to a 5 yr-old son at the residence. The salesperson was driving a white van with Nebraska plates. The caller said they have had prior contacts from other DirectTV salespeople recently. The prior salesperson(s) drove a vehicle with MO plates.

“Whether the man was attempting to solicit for DirectTV in the area last night is unknown. The caller was concerned due to the stranger approaching her son with a puppy at 8:30 at night driving a van with out of state plates,” Mason City police stated.

A Mason City woman told NIT Thursday that the man “came to my friends house two nights in a row, the second time did not talk about DirecTV and had a puppy. Interacted with her 5 year old. Has happened after dinner time both nights.”

“Last night it was said that he just appears like out of nowhere and she hasn’t seen him going to any other houses,” the woman continued. “They have 3 small children that are always outside playing (supervised of course). He brought the puppy up on to their porch and was talking to the 5 year old, but not about DirectTV. The first night he came up and asked if the dish was current. Second night, no tv talk.

“We’re gonna be on the lookout for that van today. It’s not good.”

Anyone that see any suspicious activity should call the Mason City Police Department at 641-421-3636.

Another shot of the van, taken by nearby residents.

Another shot of the van, taken by nearby residents.

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51 Responses to “Stranger with puppy” approaches children in Mason City; residents concerned

  1. Lvs Reply Report comment

    June 4, 2014 at 8:38 am

    This is a Old, Old story. It has no interest now.

  2. Reply Report comment

    June 4, 2014 at 5:56 am

    All door to door sales should be banned. Unless you’re invited you have no business bothering homes. Puppy or no puppy, this guy should’ve bounced out of town by The Police, not the people. No legitimate salesman would use a puppy to seduce children of potential customers. Police DO YOUR JOB.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 4, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Don’t forget junk mail, spammers, and telemarketers. No unsolicited sales of any kind! Tear down the billboards! Smash your tv’s! Refuse to handle print media with any advertising in it! Peter, lead the way!

  3. April Kinney Reply Report comment

    June 3, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Christopher Todd Setterholm

    Is trying to sell male children on a Spokane, was Facebook sales site called Spokane free classifieds. There are at least a dozen parents contacting authorities as we speak. It would be helpful if we can get info on who to contact in his hometown of mason city, ia. Please contact me via email aprilkinney@icloud.com

  4. KNOWS BETTER Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

    HEY DUMMIES, ITS THE GUY FROM THE BUSINESS AT 6TH AND SO FEDERAL THAT SELLS DIRECT TV. DONT GET YOUR PANTIES ALL MESSED UP. JUST LIKE MOST OF THE OTHER NEWS, GETS ALL BLOWN OUT OF POPORTION. BUT THEN GOT TO SELL PAPERS

  5. sherryl Reply Report comment

    June 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    PARENTS—-TEACH YOUR KIDS A PASSWORD, SO IF A STRANGER TRIES TO TAKE THEM AND THEY DON’T KNOW THE PASSWORD THE KIDS WILL RUN AWAY FROM THE BAD GUYS!!!!

  6. Robin Ragsdale Reply Report comment

    June 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Tuesday evening round 9ish a guy representing Direct TV rang my door bell, he was asking all kinds of questions relative to direct tv, even had literature with him.. I found him a little weird~ no yorkie was with him and the only puppy ‘in sight’ was my 8 wk old pit bull puppy… the guy asked if he could have my dog though, of course I said hell NO!! My house is pictured in this photo so this incident hits close to home no pun intended- my fiancé, children (16 & 13), and I just took possession and moved into the neighborhood June 1st… It’s nice to know times I’m not at home~ it’s still being looked out for!!