Beauty Trend Becomes Crime Spree

By Mary Harris
|  Tuesday, May 24, 2011  |  Updated 7:18 AM PDT
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Beauty salons are seeing an increase in robberies because hair extensions can be worth thousands of dollars.

Beauty salons are seeing an increase in robberies because hair extensions can be worth thousands of dollars.

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Electronics, car parts, jewelry -- these items are popular with thieves because they have value and can be quickly resold.

Now it seems things on the steal-and-resell circuit are getting a bit hairy. Literally.

There has been a rash of robberies involving human hair. 

The New York times reports that a Houston salon was recently robbed of hair extensions totaling $150,000, and a beauty supplier in Michigan was actually killed during a robbery.

The problem appears to be nationwide. A salon in San Diego reported a loss of $10,000.

A loss of $85,000 from a store in Texas and extensions valued at $60,000 were recently stolen from a shop in San Leandro, the Times reported.

Here in Los Angeles Vince Selva of Indo Asian Human Hair stresses that extensions are big - and expensive business.

"It's a lot of money because each one of those pieces is like $200," Selva said.

Back in 2009, his shop was robbed twice in the same week. The robbers actually bored through steel doors before running out as the alarm rang. 

In an effort to secure their business - Indo Asian Human Hair moved their shop - to a vault. They now operate out of an old Washington Mutaul Bank Building in Inglewood.  Customers need to have appointments and are buzzed in.   Co-owner Lucky Selva says it is now the "fort knox" of hair because when you pay by the ounce "hair is as good as gold."

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