There are already plenty of negative news reports on door-to-door alarm sales, but this time the issues do not include licensing violations, fraudulent or deceptive sales practices, or stealing other alarm companies’ customers: this time it’s rape. And while the alarm salesperson did not work directly for ADT, there was an unfortunate connection to the “big boy” of the US alarm industry. From Tampa, Florida:
After a door-to-door salesman for a security alarm company was arrested and charged with raping a woman who opened her door to him Friday night, deputies say he made a chilling statement. Rashad Hales, 19, told deputies his only regret was not killing the victim, said Larry McKinnon, spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Police Question Possibility of More Victims
Given the “brazen nature” of his comment, investigators want to know if there are other victims, McKinnon said. “We are asking the public now if anyone knows this guy, had contact with him or is a victim, to come forward,” he said. “This very courageous woman maintained her strength enough to catch this guy, and hopefully, if there are other women out there who have kept a secret out of fear, they, too, now will come forward.”
More Background on a Vicious Crime
Hales was going door-to-door in northwest Hillsborough for Secure Watch, which is an authorized dealer for ADT, McKinnon said. Secure Watch officials are expected to review the routes Hales worked to see whether there other potential victims, McKinnon said. Leon Smith, a salesman who answered the phone at Secure Watch’s sales office, said he did not know about the incident and was not in a position to comment.
For more on ADT’s Authorized Dealer program, see this prior post.
The Facts, According to Police:
Hales knocked on the door of the victim’s home about 5:50 p.m. and tried to sell her a security system. The woman told Hales her fiancé makes those decisions and he was at a friend’s home. Hales returned five to 10 minutes later and told the woman that he had spoken with her fiancé about signing up. When the victim tried to close the door, Hales grabbed her wrist and forced his way inside the home.
I won’t bother reprising the rest of the details – but they are not pretty.
It Could Have Been Worse
During an interview, Hales told deputies he didn’t kill the victim because he thought she would not tell anyone, McKinnon said. Along with the sexual-battery charge, Hales is charged with attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed burglary with battery and depriving a victim of the ability to call 911.
After repeated warnings about home alarm sales scams, overly aggressive sales techniques, and other issues, increasing numbers of people have turned to the Internet for a wide array of consumer goods – including home security. It’s tragic when an incident like this one occurs, but it serves as a reminder of just how dangerous it can be to open your door to a stranger. While the odds may be low that this could happen to you, who wants to be the exception to the rule?
As for FrontPoint, we believe people prefer to shop for home protection and peace of mind on-line: that’s where you’ll quickly learn why FrontPoint is the leader in interactive, wireless home security: our long list of five-star reviews spells out very clearly what makes us the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. Being on top means we have to prove ourselves in every aspect of our business – with systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. These days, that makes us rare indeed among nationwide alarm service providers.