Traveling Salesmen Attacks Increase

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance said Friday that there has a surge of attacks on traveling salesmen in recent weeks. The recent attacks listed by JSA are happening in an area that spreads from New Mexico to Ohio. JSA, in its “Crime Alert” newsletter, reported the following events during a nine-day period beginning Sept. 24:

* A traveling jewelry salesperson in Santa Fe New Mexico was entering his room at a Motel 6 Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. when two men attacked him. He tried to fight them off, but two other persons joined in. They subdued the salesperson, took him to his room, and tied him up with a belt and telephone cord. The suspects threw a blanket over the salesperson, and took his merchandise.

* On Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m., a salesperson returned to his hotel room in Cincinnati, Ohio, after a day of sales calls. As he got out of his rental car, he was approached by two Hispanic men who threw him to the ground and threatened him with a knife. The suspects took a briefcase from the car, which contained only documents, and after taking the salesperson’s watch, the thieves slit his tires. It was reported that the suspects fled in a black Hyundai Elantra or Sonata, possibly accompanied by a white Dodge Durango.

* In Dallas, after visiting the World Trade Center on Sept. 26, a salesperson went to a retail store. Upon leaving the store and retrieving his car from valet parking, he was approached by three armed suspects, who ordered the salesperson and witnesses to the ground. The suspects took the salesperson’s line, slashed his tires and fled in a silver Nissan Murano with a fake dealer license plate.

* Also on Sept. 26, a saleswoman in Little Rock, Ark. left a retail jewelry store escorted to her car by the jeweler. She then went to a McDonald’s for coffee after checking to see if she was being followed. Two men pulled their car into the McDonalds using an exit, jumped out of their vehicle, and smashed her car window. They punched her in the face, pulled the keys from the ignition, opened the trunk, grabbed the line, and escaped.

In a July 31 Crime Alert, JSA warned about the seriousness of the situation in the Little Rock area for traveling jewelry salespersons. In addition to the crime just reported, losses have occurred on July 29 in Little Rock, and on June 26 in Pine Bluff. 

JSA suggests the following Recommendations:

Traveling salespersons are targeted by gangs as the salespersons calls on retail jewelry stores. It is essential that traveling jewelry salespersons engage in evasive driving techniques before and after every sales call, and before going to their hotel or home in the evening. Take five minutes and drive around the block, drive at 15 mph, pull into a bank, make U turns, make left turns, and don’t stop until you can answer the question, “Am I sure I am not being followed?” Be aware that the South American gangs often use several different vehicles at a time to follow salespersons. Have they replaced the car following you with another car? FINALLY, RESISTANCE CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS INJURY. In almost every recent attack on traveling salespersons, the South American gang members have possessed knives which they will not hesitate to use when a salesperson resists.