Police investigate parking lot perfume peddlers in Salt Lake County

Posted at 8:19 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 22:19:29-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY – Police in Salt Lake County are investigating some alarming cases with one common thread – people trying to push products on unsuspecting customers in parking lots.

A woman told police she was at a Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 12623 S. Redwood Road, in Riverton Wednesday at around 1:30 p.m. when a couple of men tried to lure her into their car to smell perfume.

“They were approached by a couple of black males driving a black vehicle in the parking lot,” said Detective Justin Richardson with the Unified Police Department.

She refused their offer and drove to the police station to report the strange encounter.

“By the time officers got there the vehicle was gone,” Richardson said.

Last Wednesday in Sandy, Amelia Eckstein ran into a similar scenario. She noticed a man sitting in a black car with the passenger side door open. As she made her way to an appointment near Alta View Hospital, he called out to her.

“I see him waving a pink Guess perfume box in his windshield, waving me over,” Eckstein said.

She kept walking.

“It didn’t sit right,” Eckstein added.

A couple of months ago, Elisabeth Muir was working at Fantastic Sam’s in West Jordan when a man came in saying he was selling one of a kind perfume from Paris.

She admits she took the bait. When she tried to pay for the perfume, Muir said her credit card wouldn’t go through so the man offered a solution.

“He says, ‘well, why don’t we go over to the bank and I’ll follow you,’” Muir said.

Richardson said police have heard of different complaints around the valley as well as Utah County. Authorities believe it’s the same people approaching would-be customers in parking lots.

Unified Police say with the weather warming up, sales people are out in full force. So, it’s important to keep your guard up.

“Definitely don’t go to a car by yourself to smell any kind of perfume or anything to come buy something.”

A salesperson is legitimate if they have a business permit license and permission from the business they’re operating out of.

If you’re uneasy about some of the tactics, call police.

“Not everyone selling things is bad, but there might be some bad people out there,” Richardson said.

Unified Police is looking for information about the Walgreens incident. If you know anything about the case, call 801-743- 7000.