On Saturday, May 12, at around 2 p.m., a purple and white ice cream truck with purple lettering parked in the parking lot at Starkey Park #4 during a Cave Spring National Little League baseball game, according to League president Steve Keller.
On the back wall of the truck,visible through the window, the vendor had eight to 10 knives on display and priced for sale, according to Keller. There was a line of children waiting to buy ice cream when he went over to the truck, Keller said.
When Keller asked about the knives, he was told that they are for sale and that the vendor typically sells them to people in the fishing community.
“We’re very strict about who interacts with the kids,” Keller said. After contacting the Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism department, Keller was told the peddler would have to leave immediately. Keller was also instructed to call the county police on the non-emergency line. He asked the vendor to leave the premises.
Keller said he later found out that the individual had also been in the parking lot at the Penn Forest playground, near Penn Forest Elementary School. Later that afternoon, Keller saw the same truck in the Gardens and Groves neighborhood, and another area resident reported seeing the truck in the Branderwood neighborhood.
According to Natalie Wells, meals tax coordinator for Roanoke County, peddlers must have permission from the property owners to be on the premises.
“You must have written authorization every time you stop,” Wells said. There are two different permits available to peddlers, one for perishable goods and another for non-perishable goods, according to Wells.
“I don’t know of any licensed peddler of general merchandise issued this year,” said Jerry Hoer, Business Ordinance Inspector for the County of Roanoke.
If you are unsure whether a peddler is properly licensed, Hoer advises getting a license plate number and calling the police.