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Old 09-19-2011, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Hagerman, Idaho
2,301 posts, read 5,090,034 times
Reputation: 2212

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I'm pretty sure I know how it happened. I was at what was then the ZCMI Mall downtown and they were out and about at the mall checking for salesmen going into some of the jewelry stores. They somehow managed to follow me home to E. Millcreek and no doubt staked me out for several days. I went down to SouthTowne mall 3 days later and they figured they lay and wait for their moment which came near lunchtime ironically. I parked several isles down from the entrance as it was otherwise packed parking wise. There was nobody currently around and I got out of the car, opened my trunk for the bag and before I knew it there was a older Honda Accord stopped behind me with 4 South Americans (Hispanic) jumping out of the car with 9mm handguns drawn yelling not to look. I hit the ground and covered up and they kept yelling not to look and said to slide them my keys (so I wouldn't follow them. so I did.

Within 2 minutes I got up and called 911. Sandy police were there within 60 seconds. There were at least 4 SUV's 6 Patrol cars, several unmarked that swarmed upon the spot I was hoping to catch something, but alas these guys are paramilitary trained and were gone gone gone. They had me do some lineups but they were just gang bangers locally. Then they got a call from L.A. that indeed these were part of the trained South American gangs roaming the U.S. tracking and robbing sales reps and even stores in some cases. They still do it today, but many of the salesmen no longer come to Salt Lake for this reason. I got out of the business 4 years ago and not sorry I did. Got tired of looking over my shoulder. It just wasn't fun anymore. I do miss the income level however
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: South Jordan, Utah
6,800 posts, read 7,350,786 times
Reputation: 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcisive View Post
I'm pretty sure I know how it happened. I was at what was then the ZCMI Mall downtown and they were out and about at the mall checking for salesmen going into some of the jewelry stores. They somehow managed to follow me home to E. Millcreek and no doubt staked me out for several days. I went down to SouthTowne mall 3 days later and they figured they lay and wait for their moment which came near lunchtime ironically. I parked several isles down from the entrance as it was otherwise packed parking wise. There was nobody currently around and I got out of the car, opened my trunk for the bag and before I knew it there was a older Honda Accord stopped behind me with 4 South Americans (Hispanic) jumping out of the car with 9mm handguns drawn yelling not to look. I hit the ground and covered up and they kept yelling not to look and said to slide them my keys (so I wouldn't follow them. so I did.

Within 2 minutes I got up and called 911. Sandy police were there within 60 seconds. There were at least 4 SUV's 6 Patrol cars, several unmarked that swarmed upon the spot I was hoping to catch something, but alas these guys are paramilitary trained and were gone gone gone. They had me do some lineups but they were just gang bangers locally. Then they got a call from L.A. that indeed these were part of the trained South American gangs roaming the U.S. tracking and robbing sales reps and even stores in some cases. They still do it today, but many of the salesmen no longer come to Salt Lake for this reason. I got out of the business 4 years ago and not sorry I did. Got tired of looking over my shoulder. It just wasn't fun anymore. I do miss the income level however
Wow! What a story, how scary. Did they ever catch any of them?
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Hagerman, Idaho
2,301 posts, read 5,090,034 times
Reputation: 2212
Oh heck no. They almost NEVER do. They are highly organized in multiple groups. The goods are LONG gone and they move on to another town and another victim. You can see the details of their monthly exploits at the Jewelers Security Alliance web page. Fortunately not too many folks have been injured by them. A few killed and a few stabbed but for the most part they'll bust out windows in a reps car and put a knife at their throat till they get the goods and they are off in multiple stolen vehicles. The FBI has been pretty lame about the prosecutions and hunting them down. Guess they have bigger fish to fry. yeah our government at work....can't even keep the $#@%$#$% out of the country.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge
2,423 posts, read 3,133,198 times
Reputation: 2486
Wow, dcisive, that's insane. I bet that was intense! Good thing you were OK. Where is Charles Bronson when we need him?

-Cheers.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Perry, UT
601 posts, read 1,634,502 times
Reputation: 373
Did I read the church imported the gangs in the 80s? May I ask what you mean?
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:13 PM
 
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,930,334 times
Reputation: 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcisive View Post
Oh heck no. They almost NEVER do. They are highly organized in multiple groups. The goods are LONG gone and they move on to another town and another victim. You can see the details of their monthly exploits at the Jewelers Security Alliance web page. Fortunately not too many folks have been injured by them. A few killed and a few stabbed but for the most part they'll bust out windows in a reps car and put a knife at their throat till they get the goods and they are off in multiple stolen vehicles. The FBI has been pretty lame about the prosecutions and hunting them down. Guess they have bigger fish to fry. yeah our government at work....can't even keep the $#@%$#$% out of the country.
i'd never heard of this kind of stuff happening here. i checked out the website to that alliance you listed. pretty interesting stuff.

glad you made it!
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Hagerman, Idaho
2,301 posts, read 5,090,034 times
Reputation: 2212
Stycoti, I'm NOT saying you are one of the masses with their heads in the sand, but you'd be shocked at what goes on in this Valley that NEVER even makes it on the news. I happen to work now in the Security industry (how ironic huh) and I must say being on the so called "front lines" of what is going on crime wise in Northern Utah it is a bit disheartening to see the upswing in crimes here. Sure we have our occasional gang thing, but the number of robberies both at the home invasion as well as business level have risen dramatically over the last 2 years in particular.

On the subject of my former career as a jewelry rep, I worked in that industry since I was old enough to work. My grandfather started back in the late 20's and my dad was a diamond setter and my brother a jeweler. I was on the road with one thing or another in the jewelry line since around 1980. There was a time I didn't even worry about what I carried (often a 1/4 milliion in either colored stones or finished jewelry). But around the mid 90's the drug cartel started importing paramilitary trained individuals from poor nations in South America, where they had NOTHING to loose and would be paid well to support their families back home, if they would track and rob jewelry salesmen. Somehow they figured we were easy marks, and they weren't wrong.

The problem was quite bad by the late 90's and many millions of dollars in merchandise was stolen each year. Up to that point nobody was actually injured as they generally attacked in gangs and any typical salesman was helpless. The FBI, at the urging of the industry got involved in the late 90s but did little to nothing to stop the tide of illegals entering our borders with this intent. I was plain fortunate to have avoided it as long as I did since I covered 17 States from Ohio to the West coast "BY AUTO" for this as I was the National Sales manager for a designer line. I typically carried a couple hundred thousand in mounted rings, some quite exotic with colored gems and diamonds.

I was often gone as you can imagine 6-8 weeks at a time. I barely lived here except I was off the road from late October through most of January (a nice vacation) as it was off season for selling. It was an excellent living while it lasted and allowed me to purchase 2 new cars (one for my wife and one for myself) and a home to be built in Herriman. But as they say all good things come to an end. I DO miss it at times as I prefer to think of the "good times" and not the bad. I have travel in my blood so it was easy, but the risks in today's world are getting higher and higher.

In reference to an earlier question regarding the "Importing of gangs" by the church let me clarify. I was told by a bishop when I lived in E. Millcreek why he thought the crime and gangs had increased in Utah while when I was here in the late 70's the SL Valley was pretty free of such things. He mentioned that in 1980 the Church began efforts to bring in many more of the Tongan folks to the Salt Lake Valley as they were baptising more and more of them from their native land. However what ended up happening also was there were a considerable number of them already settled and living in the Los Angeles area that wanted to be closer to the "mother church" so they made it easy for them to move here. The RUB is that in the L.A. area a high percentage of those Tongan's that were settled there had kids involved with and very active in gangs. When they came here they found "Happy Valley" ripe pickins for their activities.

The interesting thing is once you have an infection of such, it attracts others, so now there are representatives of the Crips and Bloods along with several representatives of the Hispanic gangs out of L.A. as well. What we were NOT told was also back in 1980 the State Director of Corrections in Utah appealed to the local governments to allow a good number of criminals that were currently placed in the L.A. penal institutions to be sent HERE as they were overcrowded and we had all kinds of room due to our facilities being underpopulated, and the additional revenue given by California to us for taking their junk would be substantial. So there you have it. We invited the infection. So we have what we have due to our lack of insight into what we would be taking on. Oh well....too late now. We have an infection for which there is no known cure
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