Santa Monica police are reminding residents to be leery of solicitors after a man pretending to be with the health department was seen Monday night in an apartment complex knocking on doors.

SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said a resident living on the 800 block of Pacific Street became suspicious when a man who said he was a government employee knocked on his door and asked if everything was OK.

The resident asked if he could take a photo of the man for his records. The man allegedly told the resident that it was illegal for him to be taking pictures of a government employee. The resident went ahead and snapped a photo. The suspect eventually ran off, shouting back, “I’m going to get you,” police said.

Lewis said the suspect was described as an African-American, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds with short black hair, a dark complexion and a mustache. He was said to speak with an African accent.

Police want to remind residents to always ask for identification and a business license before opening the front door. If the person knocking does not provide this information residents should notify police, Lewis said.

“We want neighbors to take care of each other and keep a close eye on people walking, knocking on doors,” he said. “Also, with any type of health inspection you will have prior notice. So, if you don’t have notice, don’t open your door.”

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