UPDATE: RCN Sales Harasser Actually A Known Rapist?

UPDATE: We just called the Lakeview PD and they said that this story, “wasn’t true. If it was, we would’ve heard about it.”

Lenka’s story about a guy in a RCN shirt trying to set up a cable appointment at the gas station just turned very scary. The guy is a known rapist, says another reader:

That person is a known problem in the Edgewater neighborhood from RCN, and has actually been trying to rape women. He’ll schedule appointments, has the whole pricing structure memorized, he’ll then schedule install times, and then go over and rape the woman.

Besides gas stations, the guy also targets customers in the parking lots of the Dominicks and Jewel supermarkets while women are loading their cars.

This story folds into this week’s theme of avoiding sketchy people trying to sell you stuff in parking lots. We’re worried, though. In her report, Lenka said she noticed the guy go up to another female customer who seemed to “engage him in conversation.”

Our reader says they came by this info by way of a cop friend of theirs. Sketches of the RCN guy are said to be up in area police stations. When asked why the police haven’t caught him yet, our reader said, “This is Chicago, Priorities are different here.” — BEN POPKEN

PREVIOUSLY: Has RCN Been Harassing You At The Gas Station?

Comments

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  1. chuco says:

    Without wanting to sound cheesy, where else than this freaggin website would people be able to find info like this?
    Hope they cath the guy, its creepy to think how easy it would be to fall for his scheme.

  2. dragonflight says:

    Interesting story, but did you have to sacrifice the quality of the post to get it out early? women loading their what? S sketches? cop friend of hers?

  3. Ben Popken says:

    @dragonflight: Yes.

  4. TPIRman says:

    Wow. That is indeed very scary. Good on ya for getting the word out, Ben. I hope this story comes to a just end.

  5. reznicek111 says:

    I’m Lenka, the person who emailed you about the RCN incident in Chicago, and I want to thank you for this new information – it’s quite frightening. I live close to the gas station in question and realize crime is always closer than you think, but this too-close encounter is pretty scary. I guess it pays to trust your instincts.

    Sadly, there is no centralized means of sharing this information in the community, and until I read your update, I had no idea this guy was a sex offender known to the local police. Although he was dressed neatly and was (relatively) polite, his approach and manner immediately raised a “red flag.” Yes, I will be placing a call to my local C.P.D. station.

    Your other reader’s take on why the police haven’t caught him is unfortunately, spot on: priorities, priorities…my biggest fear right now is for the woman who I saw speaking with him. I wish there was a way I or someone could get a warning out to her, if she did give him her information.

  6. formergr says:

    That’s weird– I lived in Chicago until last week, and never heard about this. The Chicago PD desp its other shortcomings and the press have always been very good usually about putting up sketches and putting out alerts through the news describing any suspect who’s raped even one person (of course that’s one too many).

    So it feels like something’s missing from this story, because if this guy has raped multiple women (even in a not upscale neighborhood) it would be all over the news.

  7. biggeek says:

    This sounds like hysterics and it’s sad how easy you all are pulling out torches and pitchforks before there’s any more evidence other than “a friend of mine who’s a cop said…”

    A female sales person (especially the nice looking ones) on commission will target men almost exclusively because they make more sales doing that…It doesn’t mean that she’s a rapist.

  8. polarogak says:

    Well THAT’S certainly not an irresponsible charge to make without evidence, The Consumerist.

  9. reznicek111 says:

    Well, this individual may or may not be a rapist-at-large, but the fact remains it’s _never_ a good idea to give personal information to strangers who request it, period, regardless of the circumstances. What made me very suspicious (besides the fact he approached me while I was pumping gas, and was a ‘captive audience’) is the fact he didn’t start out with the usual spiel about saving me money, a special offer, better service, blah blah…the first thing he asked for was where I lived.

    He was in a big hurry to get to that valuable information without actually discussing anything that would benefit me – and that tipped me off this wasn’t a normal sales pitch and something was quite wrong.

  10. Ben Popken says:

    Just called Lakeview PD and they said this story is not true.

  11. TPIRman says:

    Huh. I guess this is the happy ending I was looking for … kind of.

  12. formergr says:

    Okay, glad you corrected the post. I knew something didn’t sound right there…

  13. QuirkyRachel says:

    Well, that made me shiver. I currently live in one of those neighborhoods and am moving to the other one. But still, why would you setup a cable appointment with someone who approaches you at a gas station?

  14. juniper says:

    Just checked chicagocrime.org –
    http://chicagocrime.org/streets/broadway/5700n/

    There was a criminal sexual assault at that gas station on Feb 23.

    Calling the Lakeview police, though, isn’t going to be too helpful, they’re the wrong District and the wrong beat. Try ringing up District 20. Lakeview is too far south, in District 19.

  15. Ben Popken says:

    @juniper: I called District 20 and they said they hadn’t heard anything and told me to call District 19.

  16. tcp100 says:

    So, we’re taking the word of “someone who heard from a cop friend” and an anecdote about a guy who had an argument at a supermarket to assume guilt of *rape* against some guy, over the word of the police?

    Consumerist, sometimes you guys are a little too quick to leap. I really hope it doesn’t get you in trouble someday, as the site is great and really worthwhile.

  17. juniper says:

    @Ben Popken: Note to self: get out of Uptown (District 20), because they like to pass the buck to other police stations.

    That being said, http://www.chicagocrime.org is a great resource for anyone in the Chicago area.

  18. Ponygirl says:

    This sounds so urban legendish I think it should be on Snopes, not Consumerist.

  19. JustAGuy2 says:

    Does he use his cable cutting tool to slice their Achilles tendons while they pump gas?

  20. savagesaladin says:

    If he is a “known problem” in the area, people recognize him as the town rapist, then why doesn’t someone… blow his brains out? The police wont arrest you, they have better things to do.

  21. jeffislouie says:

    Something smelled fishy….
    I’m glad it appears to be the story.

  22. William Hewitt says:

    A true RCN direct sales guy ALWAYS has a badge, his business cards (his supervisor’s too), cell phone with a zillion internal local numbers (for referrals), and current sales materials in his possession. Our livelihood depends upon it. And if he’s super smooth, he’s probably not working in the industry long! hahaha because the job sucks dealing with negativity constantly. Actually though, you’ll get the absolute best service and experience from direct guys. Read my comment under the customer service telephone numbers…
    Bill