Police said they believe that a violent robbery of a jewelry traveling salesman in suburban Chicago was the work of Colombian gangs, according to media reports.
On Sept. 11 a 51-year-old jewelry dealer was robbed by at least three men of $1.5 million in broad daylight outside of a Hampton Inn in the village of Schiller Park, just west of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.
When the dealer from Florida resisted, the men slashed his wrist and stabbed him in the thigh, Schiller Park police told the newspaper, adding that it appeared they were trying to cut major veins and arteries and he may not have survived the attack if was not for Hampton Inn employees who rushed to his aid, wrapping his slashed arms in towels and sheets and slowing the bleeding by applying pressure and lifting his arms.
The dealer, who lost a lot of blood, was in serious but stable condition and was scheduled to go into surgery on Friday.
Schiller Park police said they have heard from law enforcement around the country who believe they have crimes that are related to the attack.
Police said they suspect the dealer may have been followed to Chicago from Florida or that the crooks worked in teams, one following the victim in Florida and another team following him in Chicago, the Tribune reports.
The dealer took precautions to avoid being followed, including routinely checking his rental cars for tracking devices and driving in circuitous routes, police told the newspaper.
The dealer arrived at O’Hare International Airport on Sept. 11, rented a car and drove straight to a jewelry store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, police told the newspaper. Security guards accompanied him back to his car from the store.
The dealer told police he was careful to watch for people following him but he noticed nothing amiss Thursday, the newspaper reports.
Police said the man who stabbed the dealer was described as 5 foot 5 and 155 pounds, wearing a brown shirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call Schiller Park police at 847-678-4794.