Jewelry salespeople traveling in the New England area are the latest target for South and Central American gang attacks.
Last week, two incidents in two days along Rt. 1 in Massachusetts cost jewelers at least $1.2 million. In one incident, a jeweler and his son were attacked as they unloaded two bags containing a line worth more than $1 million in a hotel parking lot in Norwood, MA. A car with four men pulled up behind them. One robber struck the young man in the head, another beat the father and the others grabbed the bags, jumped into the car and fled. The next night in Waltham, MA, a salesman went into a store to buy some Halloween merchandise, and when he returned his briefcase containing $200,000 in merchandise was gone.
John Kennedy, president of Jewelers' Security Alliance, says that in the past year, seven traveling sales representatives and 29 jewelers were attacked in New England. "In the past couple of months, we have seen a real upsurge (of incidents) in the New York-to-Boston corridor," Kennedy told the Boston Globe. "These are people who spend some time on Washington Street in Boston and are making the trip back to New York City. They may be followed for 100 miles until the time is right.¾
JSA urges jewelers to be especially alert for cars following them and has advised traveling sales representatives to ship their lines via armored transport or be accompanied by an armed guard.
- by Jack Heeger