WALLA WALLA - One day after issuing a warning about door-to-door solicitors scamming residents out of cash and checks, police detained several women Saturday in what could be a major fraud ring.
"They are packing IDs from all over the county," Walla Walla police officer Tim Bennett said. "This is definitely a well-organized operation that we have going on right now."
On Saturday, six women were detained by officers and deputies after complaints were received about the women going door to door.
On Friday, the Walla Walla Police Department issued a warning that the women were claiming to be raising money for the "Wounded Warrior Project" or to help the Walla Walla High School softball team go to Hawaii.
Both claims were false, police said.
In one case, an 82-year-old resident with poor vision was talked out of $200 cash, according to a police report.
Along with apprehending several female canvassers, police also confiscated a van on Saturday that was believed to be transporting the women.
Other vans and solicitors were apprehended by police in the Tri-Cities but no arrests have officially been made, Bennett said.
Other solicitors may still be in the area, he said.
People are urged to immediately report any suspicious solicitors to their local law enforcement agency with descriptions of suspects and vehicles.
Door-to-door solicitors are required to be licensed in the city of Walla Walla and have credentials readily available.
If checks have been written to the solicitors, those individuals are urged to immediately contact their financial institution to stop payments.