Neighbors Call Police on 10-Year-Old Iowa Girl Selling Cookies on the Street

One neighbor said she was concerned about the extra traffic.


|||Ian Andreiev/
Ian Andreiev/

A young girl in Iowa has learned the hard way that even doing something as innocent as selling cookies without a permit can warrant a police response.

Savannah Watters, who dreams of owning her own bakery, thought of a way to raise money for her school clothes this year. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a batch of cookies from her mom, the young girl decided to host a cookie sale in her Cedar Falls neighborhood.

That's when Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson said his department received three calls over the span of five days about the cookie business.

Why call the police on a 10-year-old selling cookies?

One neighbor said that she did so out of concern for other neighborhood children. She claimed that her own daughter was almost hit by a car belonging to one of Watters' customers.

"Well, we've got a little girl been selling cookies and water for four weeks and the traffic is getting to the point that they're using our driveway to turn around, which is fine, but they almost hit my daughter," the neighbor said in a phone call to emergency services. "I mean, it's just adding. It's getting out of control."

Another neighbor called to conduct a welfare check to make sure Watters was being properly supervised.

"I wish that we could have known first, 'cause we didn't know anything. And it's just hard to believe that they didn't come talk to my mom first," Watters said, reports KDSM-TV. According to WRIC, her mother similarly stated, "I am not a bad person and I am a good mom, and I would never risk, you know, and I didn't know anything that anyone was bothered, and so I just wish they were to come to me instead of making it all of us you know all of this."

Police have since informed Watters that she can sell her cookies as long as she remains in the driveway. Unfortunately for Watters, she reported that the change in visibility hurt her business.

Bonus link: Stories like this make us wonder if 2018 is the Summer of Snitches?

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  1. I hope the girl figures out how to grease the right palms. That’s the real lesson here.

    1. That’s the first thing I thought of. How else will she grow up to be a successful (crony) capitalist?

    2. That’s the first thing I thought of. How else will she grow up to be a successful (crony) capitalist?

      1. Fucking squirrels.

        1. Bake them into a pie and sell that from your driveway – – – – – – –

          1. let them finish first.

            1. So considerate

      2. If she learns quickly, the politicians and judges will be in her pocket like so many dimes and nickels by the time she’s thirteen.

    3. The real lesson here is that neighbors are assholes.

      1. Not in my neighborhood. We would have bought some cookies just to support her entrepreneurial spirit.

        1. Yeah, I suppose trailer parks are one of last places that still have a sense of community.

          1. You think all people live in trailers like you do.

            I still cannot believe your mom calls the part under the trailer- your room.

            1. Dude, that joke doesn’t work. Why would I say neighbors are assholes and then agree that it’s not like that in a trailer park, if I lived in a trailer park? Logic, how do it work?

  2. One wonders what she was doing such that being restricted to selling from here driveway reduced her visibility. There seems to be more to this story.

    1. Yes, something really suspicious about someone having more visibility from the sidewalk than from a driveway.

    2. At first I thought this must be a racial thing. Then I noticed it was set in Iowa. As best I can reckon, the girl must have had quite the tan from selling cookies in the sun all day to warrant this type of response.

      1. Perhaps confused with another Waters…

    3. Probably just on the sidewalk.

    4. yeah like three ’68 Toronados on blocks in the drive

      1. This is why the Reason Comments Section needs an upvote button…

    5. According to the video, she was originally selling at a busy intersection about two blocks from her house.

      Lower traffic would account for lower sales.

    6. There seems to be more to this story.

      I’m almost certain there’s a Girl Scout (and their Mom) behind this story somewhere. I can’t imagine how these drivers come to a screeching halt for cookies, lose all ability to drive after taking a single bite, and then leave the chocolate all over their faces for the mother/daughter to realize that they were nearly killed by a chocolate-chip drunk mad man behind the wheel.

      Otherwise, the neighbor who’s been “OK” with the cookie and water sales for a month. Was biding her time, seething and until she could fabricate a story about someone pulling in the driveway and nearly hitting her daughter in order to get the unregulated cookie peddler ousted.

  3. Must be some damn good cookies. The only time I can remember a business significantly affecting traffic for more than a couple days was the arrival of Krispy Kreme.

    But how cute that the neighborhood bitch thinks calling the cops is a solution to problems.

    1. The neighbors probably feared that the girl had put some of the mari-joo-wanna in the cookies.

    2. There were some crazy lives when Dutch Bros coffee came to my town.

        1. Good with that either way

    3. It’s rude, the way some people turn to government agencies to solve their social problems.

    4. It’s Iowa, more than 2 cars in a 3 mile radius is rush hour

      1. I’ve lived in a couple of small towns in the past. One of them was Natchitoches, LA. I remember driving with a local guy and we were at a red light behind something like 5 other cars. He says, “damn, I hate all this traffic.” Cracked me the fuck up.

      2. Cedar Falls, sure. Des Moines, not so much. Trouble with small town is that they never got into the habit of staggering work hours. 5:00PM rolls around and EVERYONE hops into their car and gets on the road. For half an hour it’s a parking lot. After that it’s back to empty.

        I’ve traveled enough to see it in several small towns and cities. Empty roads except for morning commute and evening commute where it was murder.

    5. “”But how cute that the neighborhood bitch thinks calling the cops is a solution to problems.””

      Whoa! Tony turning into a liberaltarian! Story at eleven!

  4. What is going on in this country with people calling the cops for every stupid thing? There is literally a story almost daily now about people calling the cops for mowing lawns, selling cookies, playing ball in the street. People on both the left and right going on hate-filled rants in public. You call the cops if you are getting robbed, beaten or need a restraining order. People are absolutely losing their minds. It never ceases to amaze me the statism and lack of critical thinking or ability to take any emotion (that includes anger and fear, not just hysteria and crying) out of their thought process or decision making.

    1. All these stories are now just eating a dead horse.

      1. so much easier than eating the live ones.

        1. But you gotta pick maggots outta your teeth.

        2. Less danger of getting bit in the stomach by a horse.

          Which reminds me, I miss Citizen X.

    2. Simple to understand. When making someone feel bad is violence, and therefore criminal, calling the police makes perfect sense.

    3. Because there are 330,000,000 people in this country, and we have two political parties and a press whose sole goal is to stoke statistically irrational fears that only they can prevent.

      1. Actually, their main goal is that a particular one of those two parties has a stranglehold on this country. The rest is just the bonus plan.

    4. What is going on in this country with people calling the cops for every stupid thing?

      If I was a cop I think I’d be tempted to arrest the people calling me on a 10 year old selling cookies for wasting police resources and, if they called 911, misuse of the 911 system. And if they made any kind of scene, then I’d add resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer (if they yelled at or touched me in any way that could even remotely be considered threatening), and disturbing the peace. And any other bullshit catch all charges that I could think of.

      Then I’d buy some cookies from the 10 year old. “Earned my treat!”

      1. If you were a cop, like most other cops, you shoot first and all questions later.

    5. Nosy neighbors have always called the police for stupid things. What’s changed is that the police used to have the good sense to simply ignore the cranks. Now, they use it as an excuse to call out the SWAT team.

      And, of course, that over-reaction gives other cranks an excuse to go online and accuse “bad mom” – because of course the police wouldn’t have responded unless something evil was really going on, right?

  5. Cookies looking that good should be illegal.

  6. I usually think swatting is a bad idea, but I’m ready to make an exception for the Iowans who ratted out Ms. Watters.

    1. Drop some drugs in the basement, then drop a dime.

      1. To Jeff Sessions cell phone.

  7. Ok, so there are old trolls calling the police but why do the police feel they have to respond to things like this?

    1. Cuz they might get to shoot somebody?

      1. Don’t exaggerate based on a few bad apples. Probably at worst they’re hoping to shoot a puppy.

        1. “Probably at worst they’re hoping to shoot a puppy.”

          Rookies gotta cut their teeth somewhere. Shoot a puppy AND get a cookie. Sounds like an attractive nuisance for luring the armed and dangerous.

  8. So if someone pulls in my driveway and nearly kills me or my kids I should ignore their broke asses because I might have legal standing against Otis Spunkmeyer, Mrs. Fields, and The Keebler Elves?

    1. Otis Spunkmeyer was my nickname in college.

    2. If someone pulls into your driveway and nearly kills you or your kids, maybe you have a cause of action against the driver? You know, the responsible adult actually in charge of driving the car safely?

  9. The neighbors calling the police are just fronts for the real culprit here; The Girl Scouts.

    Bitch be dippin’ into their business.

    1. Unpopular opinion: Girl Scout cookies are not that good.

      1. The old gluten-ful with real sugar, mints and Samoas were good. Not $4 a box good…

        But now Walmart has doppelganger cookies, so have at it.

  10. Why call the police on a 10-year-old selling cookies?

    Because those cookies were chocked full of sugar. She was willfully adding to the obesity epidemic. Bitch should have been summarily executed. /sarc

    1. Imagine what would have happened if she was selling lemonade, with straws.

  11. Savannah Watters, who dreams of owning her own bakery

    Hopefully now she’s learned the folly of having dreams.

    1. I bet she wouldn’t even agree to bake gay cakes.

      1. Are those gay cakes made with genuine gays?

  12. When will little white girls be free to sell cookies without having the cops called on them?

  13. Why call the police on a 10-year-old selling cookies?

    Because she was hawking them on public property like a pan handler, instead of from her parents’ property?

    1. I just figured it was because the neighbors are a bunch of dickheads.

      1. What I said doesn’t rule that out.

  14. Absolutely shocked police didn’t murder anyone in the process, as is the norm.

  15. Someone called in for a “welfare check” from CPS for the cookie-seller? I would say someone else ought to call for a “wood chipper check” on that caller. Give me a break! The soccer mom phenomenon has gotten worse than the SJWs at this point, and that is no mean feat.

  16. Oh my God! They have even gotten to Iowa.
    Maybe internal passports are not such a bad idea. Keep the socialist snitches on the coasts in the north.

    1. They have even gotten to Iowa.

      Huh? Iowa has been the Illinois of the Midwest since at least the ’08 Democratic Caucus.

      1. I missed when Illinois stopped being the Illinois of the Midwest.

    2. Neighbor assholery knows no partisan lines.

  17. I will make the contrarian observation that lemonade stands never make a profit and encouraging your little precious to start one up is a lesson in failure.

    I’m was an energetic business-oriented 1960’s kid (and haven’t been one since) but I know of what I speak in that time. I made real money raking leaves in the fall, cutting grass in the summer, selling flowing in the spring, and shoveling snow in the winter. But I never made a penny from a lemonade stand or a paper route. I tried.

    Lemonade stands and paper routes are Hollywood cliches.

    1. I’m was an energetic business-oriented 1960’s kid (and haven’t been one since) but I know of what I speak in that time.

      Your failure in the lemonade stand business says otherwise. Now, it’s certainly true you won’t turn $20K a year or $10/hr. in profit, but if you turned zero profit selling lemonade *or* delivering newspapers, you were doing something wrong.

      1. You won’t even beat the cost your parents put up for the table and chair let alone drink mix.

        “I’ll do anything but work to make money.”

        1. You won’t even beat the cost your parents put up for the table and chair let alone drink mix.

          Look, just because $180M couldn’t possibly turn you into anything that resembles a pro quarterback doesn’t mean no one can make money throwing footballs. Now, I know we’re not talking about football and lemonade is quite a bit easier. So, you might want to think really hard before you say you can’t possibly profit off of even a single glass of lemonade. Because I can’t possibly be the Tom Brady of lemonade sales and I’ve made a profit off of selling lemonade and, while I’m not 100% sure what Tom Brady does falls under any and all definitions of work, he certainly makes lots of money doing it.

    2. Cool story, bro. Too bad this wasn’t a lemonade stand, otherwise it might have been pertinent.

    3. I will make the contrarian observation that lemonade stands never make a profit and encouraging your little precious to start one up is a lesson in failure.

      Contrary away, my daughter made a net profit for her lemonade stand at the neighborhood garage sale. Net. Profit. After subtracting cost of ingredients and calculating for all inputs, she made at least $50. Might have been more but I don’t recall.

  18. She should have started a doughnut stand.

    1. “She should have started a doughnut stand.”

      Brilliant. Both distracts and causes a dilemma for the responding cop.

  19. One neighbor said she was concerned about the extra traffic.

    The only thing worse than the government are your neighbors.

    1. As Hillary Clinton said, “Government is another word for things your neighbors do to you together!”

  20. Those goddamned fascist “neighbors” should be burned out — every fucking one of them.

  21. Actually, the neighbor acted in a libertarian way – leaving things alone until they were negatively affected. As to why they chose the police rather than speaking to the other mother, I think that comes down to a decision to avoid a potential confrontation with someone you may or may not know well – people wig out and snap way to easy now.

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