Coppell Cracks Down on Solicitors After Storms

City requires permits for solicitation

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Thursday, Apr 5, 2012  |  Updated 12:19 AM CDT
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Arlington officials say the city's requirement for daily permits for entrance into tornado-damaged neighborhoods is needed to keep out looters and shady contractors.

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

Arlington officials say the city's requirement for daily permits for entrance into tornado-damaged neighborhoods is needed to keep out looters and shady contractors.

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Coppell is enforcing its rules against soliciting without a permit as residents cope with hail damage.

Storms that spawned tornadoes in other parts of North Texas on Tuesday dropped hail in Coppell that damaged cars and buildings.

Police are sending the slew of contractors that have converged on the city to the police department to show proof of identification and fill out a short application for a permit.

Sgt. David Moore said soliciting without a permit is an arrestable offense.

"If someone comes out and we feel an arrest will best alleviate the issue, we can arrest someone," he said.

Since Tuesday, the city has received 120 applications, and the numbers were climbing as contractors packed the lobby late Wednesday.

Residents said contractors from across the region began knocking on doors before dawn Wednesday. Dozens of his neighbors called police.

"They just keep coming up ringing the doorbell and banging on the door and banging on the door," Jack Spratt said.

He said he is losing patience with the contractors lining his street.

"I understand everybody makes a living, but they're jumping on the bandwagon and coming around too much, and it's becoming harassing, " he said.

Spratt took matters into his own hands and posted a handmade no-solicitation sign that read "Claim handled! Thank you."

Police said no-solicitation signs should keep contractors from knocking on doors.

Dallas and Arlington are both considering ordinances similar to Coppell's rule requiring a permit to solicit. Both measures are still up for debate.

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