A clearinghouse for information on traveling sales crews
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Parents’ Story of the Month
Here is a story of my son's (Brad) 26 hour ordeal with a mag crew.
Brad is 18 years old and dropped out of high school in March, got his own place in May. That only lasted a few months since his roommate couldn't pay his rent, Brad had to move back home. Shortly there after his car's transmission went out and things were just going down hill fast. On October 10th, Brad called me and said he would be home later that night. When I woke up that Monday morning, Brad was not home yet. I was mad... when I finally tracked him down, I told him "it wasn't going to work out - him living with me, if he was going to use my home as a flop house." I also told him he had to make up his mind if he was going to stay at home or elsewhere, he had no direction in life and it was driving me crazy. (these words came back to haunt me later). He was working cleaning carpets with a friend, so he decided to stay with him for a while.
On the evening of October 13th, Brad called me from his girlfriends house ALL EXCITED! He told me about these guys he met while walking to his girlfriend's house. They offered him a job selling magazines door to door. He could make good money, he would get to travel and earn trips to Cabo and such. But, before I could really talk to him about it, he said he had a meeting with them at 8:00 at "The Bluffs" (a housing track) and he needed to talk to his girlfriend about it. He said he would call me after the meeting. That was the last conversation I had with him for over 26 hours.
Thursday night (October 14th) around 7:00 we get a phone call from Brad's brother to say that Brad was missing! No one had heard from him in over 24 hours. My heart just SANK! I called his girlfriend to see if she had heard from him since his so called meeting and she and I just started to cry, it was so unlike Brad not to call his girlfriend several times a day or be with her. I knew then that these Mag people had him, but I had no ideal where to start looking. My husband said to think positive, and I knew in my heart the only reason he hadn't called was because he couldn't. I called the jails and hospitals to see if by chance he was there, then I called the police to file a missing persons report.
By this time I am about to lose control. Myself, my husband, Brad's two brothers and six of his close friends are pacing the house. Trying to figure out where to start looking. It was so unlike Brad to do anything alone. We were just talking about making up flyers so the guys could start passing them out, when Brad's girlfriend's Mom called me around 10 p.m. to say she just heard from Brad. HE WAS BEING HELD BY THE MAG PEOPLE AND THEY WOULDN'T LET HIM GO!! She asked if he was okay and where he was so she could come and get him. He told her that he had lost his contacts (which he can't see at all without) and he thought he was at a Budget Suite. He also told her that they had his wallet and he said he didn't like it and was scared. He told her not to worry, he was going to slip out in the middle of the night and get a bus home.
Thank goodness she had caller ID, she gave me the number from the payphone he called from and I called 911. They gave me the location of the motel and sent the police to get him out of there. My husband and his friends all took off too! His brother and one of his friends got there first and could see Brad standing in the window of his room. They couldn't figure out why Brad didn't come out when they drove by. They had forgotten that Brad lost his contacts and couldn't see them. So they parked and waited for the police. The police went up to Brad and acted like they were arresting him, in order to get him away from the other crew members, but my son wouldn't press charges against these people. He kept telling the police "I am here on my own free will, but I do want to go home". They let Brad go back up to the room to get his own clothes and wallet and the police made the crew pay him the $15 they had promised him for the day. Then the police turned Brad over to my husband to bring home.
When Brad got to me, we hugged so hard that we almost couldn't breath, I was crying so hard! He told me that he felt like he was living a TV movie and didn't want to be there. He also mirrored my words from before "you said I had no direction in life and I thought this was it", I felt so bad for saying that to him! The night he arrived at the motel, there was another kid that told the crew he wanted to go home, the crew members locked him in his room and Brad didn't see him the next day and no one mentioned him. This scared Brad and he decided to go along with them until he could figure out where he was and try to slip away on his own. They gave Brad clothes to wear for the day, that is how they got his wallet. He didn't know what happened to his clothes and wallet until the police told the crew to return his belongings. After the day of going door to door they told Brad they were going to all go down to the Strip and hang out for a while and that is when Brad figured he would slip away and catch a bus home. But, I got the police there before they left.
I am so thankful I got him back so soon, especially after reading all the other horror stories here on your site. I just wonder how many of those kids parents don't know where they are. Brad asked several time to be able to call his girlfriend, friends or me and they kept saying "sure but later, your an adult now you can do what you want, you don't really need to call, do you?". Finally he slipped down to the payphone to call his girlfriend and luckily everything turned out okay.
I want to thank you for letting me tell my long story for a short ordeal. I hope no other parent has to go through what my family had to and maybe my story will help other people make a wiser decision about going with these mag crew's. They move fast and start working on the kids minds right away.
Again thank you for this opportunity to tell my story as a parent.
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