North College Hill solicitor was insurance company employee, police say

Suspicious solicitor leaves area residents uneasy

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Residents in North College Hill have been on edge since a seemingly suspicious man was seen going door-to-door.

Police, however, said Wednesday the man involved in a door knock on Joseph Court works for a child safety kit company.

“The real story I have come to find out is that (a local woman) was online and had gone to Childsafetykits.com and had requested information about child safety kits. In doing so she filled out her information how many children she had etc. This was done on Sept. 1,” said Lt. Frank Petrocelli, with the North College Hill Police Department. “When you submit this request for information on child safety kits there is a disclaimer that says that you authorize one of several life insurance companies to contact you. I received a call from Mr. Kevin Holz from the American Income Life Insurance Co. whose office is located in Sharonville. He advised me that the person described on the news stories is one of his employees. He then explained that (a woman) had requested the information from the website on Child Safety Kits and explained the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.”

Petrocelli went on to say the employee drives a Nissan Sentra, a car pointed out to FOX19 previously by an area resident.

“(They) are concerned that any any future contacts in the area requesting kits may result in problems if folks are looking specifically are looking for him, his heavy accent, and his gray Nissan Sentra,” said Petrocelli.

PREVIOUS REPORTING:

Cody Johnson was mowing the grass Friday night when he says a strange man approached him asking for his fiancee.

“I asked him what he wanted of course -- he asks if we could give him critical information on our children our kids and I thought, ‘Why?’ Why would you need any critical information on my kids?'” said Johnson.

He says the man told him that he needed the information to put together child ID kits.

"He wanted critical information on children like I guess in case they were to go missing. He said he was working with the police and I checked with the North College Hill police department and no he was not working with police,” said Johnson.

Johnson says when the man pulled up to his house he was wearing street clothes without any type of badge, or identification and was in an unmarked car.

"It was just a plain older Nissan Sentra. I thought that if he was working for the city he would have some time of, it would say Hamilton County on the side of of the car. I told him you need to leave,” said Johnson.

Police warning over suspicious visitor in North College Hill

He says the man then canvased a few other homes near Bobwood and Joseph Court in North College Hill before taking off. Johnson says the strangest part of the interaction was that the man knew his wife’s name and asked for her.

"It was really odd that he did that and knew how many kids we had like he had been watching. Like he had been parked down the street the day before because we're always out here playing with the kids,” said Johnson.

Johnson and his fiancee are still rattled by the visit. They fear the man could have been after their children’s social security numbers to steal their identity or worse take their kids. Now they are asking others in the neighborhood to be on the lookout.

“Keep your eyes open," Johnson said. "Watch our for people watching your kids. Keep your kids close.”

North College Hill police say in the three other incidents reported the man did not claim to be working for the police department. The man is described as a tall thin black male with a heavy accent. Anyone with information is asked to report it to police.

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