The Jewelers Security Alliance on July 13 issued a special warning to jewelry salespeople traveling in Missouri. In recent months, said its bulletin, there have been “an unusually large number of attacks” there—specifically six—on traveling jewelry salespersons by South American gang members.
The most recent incident was on July 11 in Frontenac, near St. Louis. A traveling salesperson was robbed after opening his car trunk to get out his line, near a vault company where he was going to secure his merchandise for the evening after a final sales call. Previous robberies occurred in St. Louis, Kansas City and Liberty, Mo.
Salespersons should be “especially careful when visiting retail jewelry stores,” says JSA. Before making sales calls, they should drive around and check the area for suspicious persons. Jewelers should escort salespersons to their vehicles and “be watchful” when salespersons leave to ensure they aren’t followed.
Salespersons should also use evasive driving techniques (i.e., slow and fast, U-turns, driving around the block) driving to and from sales calls, says JSA, to make sure they aren’t being followed.
The JSA bulletin notes that any salesperson planning a visit to the St. Louis area can call Det. Mike Reiter of the Intelligence Unit of the St. Louis Police Department at 314-615-4692 for assistance.