FASHION - Its rare when fashion crimes are also actually a real crime.
Such was the case when thieves struck Lisa Amosu’s hair salon in Houston, Texas.
The unorthodox robbery was not after money either. They didn't touch the cash register and or even look at the flat-screen TV that could have easily been sold for cash.
Instead the thieves emptied the store of a more a valuable commodity: hair extensions.
And if you know anything about hair extensions, you know they're pretty damn expensive. The thieves stole an estimated $120,000 worth of hair extensions.
“They knew exactly what they were doing, there’s no question in my mind,” says Amosu. “These jokers walked right past my register, walked right past a beautiful flat-screen TV and didn’t touch them.”
“They cut a perfect square of glass out of the window pane and stayed low once they were in the salon so they wouldn’t set off the motion detectors. It was definitely a professional job.”
Robberies like this one are becoming more common across the United States as thieves realize they can get quick cash on the black market by stealing and selling high-quality human hair extensions.
In separate incidents:
Thieves struck two salons in California and made off with human-hair bundles valued at $70,000.
A robbery in Atlanta saw thieves drive a car through the front window of a beauty salon and make off with $10,000 worth of hair.
In April one Chicago's hair-supply store saw thieves lift $90,000 worth of extensions.
In March, criminals shot and killed Michigan beauty-shop supplier Jay Shin when they targeted his storage facility looking for hair extensions.
Yeah, that is right. Apparently human hair is now worth killing people for. Scary!
Hair extensions sell for as much as $500 for a small bundle at salons, but crooks are selling them on the black market or eBay for as little as $25.
“They sell it to hair stylists who work from home and the average person on the street who is looking for a high-quality product but who doesn’t want to pay for it,” she says.
In addition to hurting hair salon owners, robbers create victims of the customers who need the hair, particularly cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
“It’s tragic. One of my clients, a bride, had a special order because she was a cancer patient and needed hair for her wedding. But the thieves stole her order.”
What is bizarre about cases like this is how you wouldn't think of hair as being a valuable commodity. Jewelry yes. Furniture yes. I could totally see someone stealing windows, doors or metal siding because they too cheap to buy their own windows or doors, etc. I even once heard of someone stealing Ottawa roofing tiles off an hotel, because they were copper and the thieves wanted to sell the copper.
I could also see companies trying to steal staff from competing companies. Its very difficult sometimes to find good IT staff, website designers, nannies, Toronto accountants that actually live in Toronto (as opposed to people who commute and therefore are always leaving work early and complaining about their commute, slacking off at work).
And then there is people who steal boyfriends, husbands, etc...
Or petty shoplifting of small things like gum or batteries.
I suppose in some industries theft is to be expected sometimes. ie. You sell RVs, motorcycles, bicycles... something that is not only transportable, but is transportation itself.
In contrast its well nigh impossible to steal something that isn't meant to move... like an in ground pool, tennis courts or sunrooms.
Its the difference between stealing someone's golf clubs, stealing the golf cart and trying to steal the 18th fairway and hole.
Golf metaphors aside... seriously, hair?
Chinese organ thieves, sure, but what is next? People mugging you on the street and shaving your head for your precious hair?
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