Texas, Michigan, California—states throughout the union are being hit by thieves with a particular target: human hair. Beauty salons and supply shops are being robbed bald. Weaves are getting snatched over flatscreen TVs.
You might think a wig is just a wig, right? Just a mop. But fine weaves are big business, the NYT reports:
In addition to the $US150,000 Houston robbery this month, thieves have recently taken $US10,000 in hair from a San Diego shop; $US85,000 from a business in Missouri City, Tex.; $US10,000 from a shop in Dearborn, Mich.; and $US60,000 from a business in San Leandro, Calif.
Thieves look particularly hard for "remy hair"—long strands with the cuticle layer undamaged. And they're willing to kill for it: a Michigan man was gunned down when two thieves stole 80 packages of hair from his shop, worth $US10,000. With prices like that, robbers are ignoring electronics and cash in favour of exotic extensions.
This illicit hair then winds up on the streets, like a stolen DVD player—sometimes offered to other beauty salons at a discount. "'Yo, I got some hair,'" mimics one shop owner who was propositioned for some stolen weaves. If someone ever walked up me on the street and asked if I wanted human hair I think I'd poop my pants. [NYT]