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Turnpike Ride Leaves Salesman In Handcuffs, Cold

December 22, 1991

FAIRLESS HILLS, (AP) _ A test drive ended in handcuffs and no sale for a Bucks County car salesman after he was kidnapped at gunpoint and left near a turnpike exit outside of Harrisburg.

Police said two men asked a salesman from Peruzzi Pontiac to let them take a test drive Thursday night in a shiny new four-wheel drive GMC Jimmy.

As one of them drove, the other pulled a gun on the unidentified salesman, and the trio drove about 115 miles, most of it on the turnpike, before stopping within a hundred yards of the exit just west of Harrisburg, police said.

The two men marched the salesman about 120 feet from the road and used two sets of handcuffs to attach him to a metal fence, according to Falls Township and state police. They then fled in the Jimmy.

About five hours later, at 3:30 a.m., an Upper Darby man driving to West Virginia with a friend pulled his car over to the shoulder to check his headlights. The driver, Panagiotis Tsakiris, heard the salesman calling for help.

Tsakiris’ friend, by luck, was a former security guard who had a key that opened the handcuffs. The men freed the salesman and called police.

The stolen vehicle was recovered about 3 a.m. in Easton, police said.

Falls Township police said Sunday they were still investigating the kidnapping.

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