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PARENT WATCH
2790 Broadway, Suite 9
New York, New York 10025
917.579.4641
info@parentwatch.org
www.parentwatch.org

July 29, 2002: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RECRUITMENT OF LOCAL TEENS INTO ABUSIVE TRAVELING SALES CREWS IS ONLY ONE SIDE OF A CHRONIC COMMUNITY PROBLEM: VIOLENCE TO CITIZENRY IS ON THE RISE.

Contact: Earlene Williams, Director

Traveling door-to-door youth sales crews spread out all over the country during the hot summer weather, looking for new young recruits to flesh out their fly-by-night sales operations.

Numerous road deaths of kids on traveling crews has resulted in increased attention from law enforcement and state and local government officials, nationally, which has, in turn, raised the public's awareness of the issue. This has created something of a double-edged sword.

Many kids are now saved from a bad experience by their parents, or the news media that refuse to run recruitment ads. But those who do get hired often face an even harsher working environment as a result of the increased difficulties companies have in attracting recruits.

Today kids are often recruited off the street, at teen hangouts, dance halls, and shopping malls with promises of fast wealth. Some recruiters pass out pamphlets that offer some type of self-help for adolescent problems. And, with slimmer pickings amongst their youthful targets, the companies are more often reeling in people with criminal histories, and using meaner tactics to hold onto the sales people they already have.

More dangerous people working on crews have resulted in an alarming increase in violence to the innocent teens hired onto crews, as well as an increase in harm to consumers. Here are just some of the latest stories:

  • February 2002. Two magazine salesmen were convicted in the beating death of a Ft. Wayne, Indiana man at a motel used by a magazine sales company to house its sales force. One is awaiting sentencing for involuntary manslaughter. The other received a 25-year sentence for murder.
  • January 2002. A magazine salesman was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting two girls, aged 12 and 13 in their home in Parker, Colorado after the girls let him inside for a drink of water. A second salesman is also awaiting sentencing in the case.
  • October 2001. One magazine salesman was killed and ten injured in a van crash, several of them seriously, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Police are still considering whether to bring criminal charges.
  • August 2001. A 66-year-old woman was beaten, raped, and stabbed to death in her home in Knoxville, Tennessee. The magazine salesman who allegedly committed the crime is awaiting trial.
  • April 2001. A magazine salesman pleaded no contest to stabbing another salesman with a pair of scissors in a motel room used to house a sales crew in Boulder, Colorado. He received one-year of probation.
  • April 2001. A magazine salesman was taken into custody for Sexual Battery, Criminal Confinement, and Indecent Exposure after trapping a woman in her car in a parking lot in Greenfield, Indiana.
  • March 2001. A magazine salesman was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the stabbing death of a 53-year-old customer in her home in Fulton, New York. The magazine clearinghouse settled out of court with the woman's family for $1 million.
  • February 24, 2001. A magazine salesman was sentenced to two to four years in prison for attempted sexual assault during a robbery in a parking lot in Lincoln, Nebraska. A second salesman was sentenced to two years six months to five years in prison for attempted robbery in the same incident.
  • January 2001. A local drug dealer in Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced to 43 years in prison for gunning down a magazine sales crew manager during a bad drug buy in a motel room that he had rented to house young salespeople.
  • January 2001. A magazine salesman pleaded guilty to luring sisters, seven years old and ten years old, into a secluded park area in Olympia, Washington. He was sentenced to five months in prison and one year probation.

Do your community an important public service by checking with local law enforcement to see if there are any road crew incidents in your area. Check your newspapers for recruitment ads for travel, fun jobs. Stay on top of it. Crews work the entire country from March until November, retreating to the warmer states for the winter. The "event" window is therefore very large. All magazine crews are not crooked, but a huge criminal problem does exist in this industry.

Put the Parent Watch telephone number and email address on your Rolodex. Then, if you have a developing incident in your area, we can help. We provide background, history, and interviews with former salespeople from a number of different companies.

Parent Watch is a clearinghouse for information on child and youth labor abuse in the door-to-door sales industry with a 20-year history as a nonprofit in this field.

 

 

Parent Watch, Inc.
2790 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10025
917.579.4641
   Info@parentwatch.org