GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- The Grandview Police Department says it has received numerous complaints about door-to-door salespeople representing themselves from security companies such as ADT, Brinks, and Honeywell since last Wednesday. Two people from Utah have now been charged with deceptive business practice and financial exploitation of the elderly related to one of the complaints.
Court documents state that Colton Halladay, 22, and Steena Berry, 21, are accused of misleading an elderly Grandview woman into making an updates to her ADT security system at the cost of an additional monthly fee. The woman contacted Grandview police in regards to Halladay and Berry on Monday.
According to court records she told police that Halladay and Berry came to her home and said they were ADT employees and were both wearing badges. She said the pair pitched the update by saying her current system would be compromised if someone cut the phone line and they wanted to covert it to a wireless system.
She said at some point in the conversation Halladay said they were actually working for Security Networks, but still affiliated with ADT. The woman told a detective that if she knew the two weren't with ADT, she wouldn't have filled out paperwork authorizing the update and monthly charge of $40.99 over a period of 60 months, for which she provided bank account information. If that term was fulfilled, the woman would have been charged a total of $2,459 for the security update.
Grandview police say that the woman's complaint is similar to one that many people have contacted the department about. Salespeople would identify themselves as representatives of whatever security system's sign was in the front yard and ask to look at the alarm panel.
On Tuesday officers were called to the 12700 block of Byars Rd. regarding suspicious activity where a policeman saw the vehicle that Halladay was suspected to be driving. When the officer inquired as to what he was doing, Halladay told him he was working for Vision Security of Utah and selling security updates door-to-door. Once he told the officer that he and Berry had sold one to the woman officers had talked to on Monday, both were placed under arrest.
When detectives questioned Berry and Halladay both denied any wrongdoing and said they had reiterated to the victim that they were not with ADT. At some point during the interrogation Halladay told a detective he told the woman, "I'm here in regards to your ADT system on behalf of Security Networks." Neither Security Networks nor Vision Security of Utah are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
The charge for financial exploitation of the elderly is a class B felony and the charge for deceptive business practices is a misdemeanor. Jackson County prosecutors have requested $10,000 cash bonds in order for Halladay and Berry to be released from jail.