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Scorching New Underground Commodity

Two young thieves walked into John’s Beauty Provide retailer in Chicago on Monday morning, pulled out a bottle of pepper spray and a gun, and went straight for the great things: remy human hair extensions.

A feminine burglar pepper-sprayed a worker behind the counter before grabbing about 10 packs of remy hair, which promote for $100 each. A male thief held a gun to another employee and had her take $1,000 from the register and shove more extensions into a rubbish bag.

This incident is simply the latest in a spate of hair extension heists which were sweeping across the country.

Remy hair extensions, which cost anyplace from $100 to 1000’s of dollars per pack, have change into highly wanted, and an underground marketplace for the goods has popped up in response.

“They’re selling them to hair salons,” mentioned Shayna Crosby, who works at John’s Magnificence Provide. “Individuals even promote them online or out of the trunk of their vehicles.”

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The remy hair frenzy is not with out advantage. They’re the highest grade of real, human hair available on the market, as a result of the cuticles are saved intact and not stripped. This means they look natural and keep shiny, delicate and tangle-free.

However the locks, which are often sewn in at salons, come at a high price. The average particular person makes use of two packs every time and the hair needs to be replaced every three to six months. This works out to tons of, if not 1000’s, of dollars annually.

In the final eight months alone, there have been two comparable beauty provide store burglaries in Chicago, in line with police officer Jose Estrada.

Final yr, cantu hair product robbers made away with a reported $230,000 value of extensions from the 35th Avenue Magnificence Provide store in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. A year earlier, thieves bypassed Magnificence One’s register and beelined straight for the remy packs, taking $80,000 of the product.

Yoonjin Han, who works at Beauty One, stated she hears these heists occur much more often — no less than as soon as a month.

They are not just happening in Chicago. Hair extensions robberies have been reported across the country, from Texas to Oklahoma to Florida.

Whereas the thefts are on the rise, there is not an official rely. An FBI spokesman mentioned its crime information aren’t broken down by “particular particulars equivalent to hair extensions.”

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As soon as the extensions are taken from stores, specialists say thieves have no downside transferring them.

“Individuals who’ve the audacity and the ingenuity to do it will be capable of sell them,” said Neal Lester, an English professor at Arizona State University who has been lecturing about hair for the final 25 years. “It is no different from promoting DVDs, the place they are sold out of the again of your trunk.”

They’re even simpler to make off with, and to get away with, than other products that commonly make their way into underground markets, like iPhones or over-the-counter medication, because the extensions aren’t marked with bar codes or serial numbers. As soon as they’re stolen, they’re virtually not possible to hint or tie back to a retailer.

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