Waite Park police track down creepy, "rag"-toting parking lot perfume salesmen

Categories: Creepy
8.1 perfume.jpg
It's one thing to be approached by a perfume salesperson in a department store. It's another when they approach you in a parking lot.
We can't imagine how these guys thought this was a good business model.

Earlier this week, three individuals were traveling around the St. Cloud area trying to sell perfume by approaching people in parking lots and asking them to smell fragranced pieces of material, according to KARE 11. Waite Park police began their search for the trio after complaints from residents raised serious safety concerns.

"It's an unusual activity so it caused concern," said Waite Park Police Chief David Bentrud. "One person who called described [the perfumed materials] as a rag."

The whole situation sounds like an urban legend. In fact, a similar story had been told in chain emails describing kidnappings instigated by asking people to smell rags that are actually doused in chloroform or other harmful chemicals.

Bentrud said he didn't know if a chain email had motivated any of the callers to report the incident to the police and thinks common sense about the dangers played the largest role.

"The obvious concern was what exactly you were smelling if you don't know the people and you don't know what they're having you smell," he said.

In the end, Bentrud said the incident was "not the safety concern we thought it was."

Bentrud said the group had been in various parts of the St. Cloud metro selling their perfumes Monday. What one of the callers had described as a rag was actually pieces of paper sprayed with the scents and a price list for the products.

According to Bentrud, the traveling salesmen were identified by police after a few hours and warned they needed the proper licensing if they planned on approaching people with their perfumes again.


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15 comments
Brandon Jones
Brandon Jones

I hate to admit it but I got sucked in by a group of these people. They promised me a lot of money & a management position if I worked hard. & yes it was very cult like. After my first couple of days they pulled me into the makeshift office & in so many works asked what my relationship was with my girlfriend & said I may have to get rid of her if she had " too much drama" They also asked me personal questions about my 5 year old daughter. After a 50 hour work week I made less than $100. I never went back.

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

It's not a hustle, it sure as hell isn't any form of a business. Let's not shit ourselves. It is scrubbed out, ghetto trash crack heads praying on middle class folk who shop in the hood. I'd like to see these clowns try peddling their generic cologne where I live. I would throat chop each and every one of these low life hoodlums.

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

Bethany Cole Magba-Kamara, this wasn't you was it? Lol.

Kerry Kozak
Kerry Kozak

Everyone has and deserves to have their own opinion.....without being called names. .....just sayin!

Brian Kruschke
Brian Kruschke

Right. It's called a HUSTLE. I'm not saying it's "good business." I'm just sayin, it's prolly not quite as deep as BigBob might let on.

Kerry Kozak
Kerry Kozak

Brian.....Bob is right! I answered 2 seperate job openings and they were BOTH (seperate locations, Brooklyn Park and Fridley) for this "perfume" crap. As soon as I asked for some verifivation as to who they were they kicked me out and would not speak another word to me. They have nothing on the walls of these "temporary" offices they rent....no business cards, no computers ....BUT have the same two people running them! I have to belive Bob is on to something.

Sara Mobrei
Sara Mobrei

They advertise for people on Craigslist... Offering jobs and then using small cash bonuses to obtain leads and sales. veeeery skeezy.

Brian Kruschke
Brian Kruschke

Take it easy there All-Knowing Alberti. It's a bunch of people trying to make a buck hustling perfume. Big deal. No different than door to door knive/vaccum/etc sales. Their biggest problem though, is that the kids schleping the knockoffs are generally baked out of their minds wearing JNCO jeans.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

They are cult marketing firms. I'm not kidding. I knew a person who was pulled into their scam, and they use cult practices linked to commercial success (rather than religion) to persuade people to sell their crap. Tactics include demanding their employees cut off all personal contact with any friend or family member who questions the employee's involvement with the firm, and emotional manipulation to compel employees to work ridiculous hours. As with various religious cults, group-compliance and loyalty are of primary importance, and it's made clear again and again that anyone who questions will be ejected, and anyone who is ejected will be shunned. They exploit desperate, vulnerable people and their operators ought to be prosecuted.

Oscar Quella
Oscar Quella

I expected to read about a new sales tactic and I didn't. Jeez, City Pages. Jeez.

paigetastic
paigetastic

Haha - this isn't anything new!!  I've come across these "back of the truck" imposter perfume sellers many a time....lol

Oscar Quella
Oscar Quella

I CAN'T STAND these fucking perfume sellers!!!! The're everywhere! (In the hood at least, I never see them in the parking lots of thrift stores in Woodbury)

Kerry Kozak
Kerry Kozak

These sales people have been around for decades! I rememeber them/salemen and women for 1984 doind this.....not a new thing City Pages...

Jeanne Griffin
Jeanne Griffin

i was approached by one of these guys in the parking lot of WalMart last week.

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