For the second time in two weeks, Marietta police are investigating what they are calling a “smash and grab” at a local beauty supply store.
Police received a phone call about 8 a.m. Thursday from employees at neighboring stores in the West Side Shopping Center near the intersection of Powder Springs Street and Sandtown Road about the front entrance of LA Beauty Supply at 712 Sandtown Road being smashed in.
Police are still trying to determine what kind of car rammed into the store and what was taken.
But, according to Officer David Baldwin, the main target of the robbery was pretty clear — synthetic and real hair weaves.
“I know detectives are out there testing for prints,” he said Thursday morning. “And the store owners are trying to get an inventory.”
The store has no surveillance cameras, but detectives did find a broken side car mirror along with tire tracks left at the scene.
Baldwin said this incident is similar to another smash-and-grab that occurred on Delk Road at Top 1 Beauty Supply on July 23 that resulted in thousands of dollars worth of stolen hair weaves.
Jasmine Crooks, a sales clerk at JC&C Hair Beauty Supply on Canton Road in Marietta, said their store was broken into in the past and the perpetrators stole hair weave like in these two cases.
She said synthetic hair weaves can cost anywhere between $2-$10 per pack but real human hair weaves costs between $160-$250 per pack.
Crooks said the inexpensive synthetic hair is mostly used for braids and the real hair, which is called “Brazilian” or “Micro Links,” are used to add length or thickness to someone’s hair.
The cost depends on the length of the real hair extension and whether it was unprocessed, meaning the person from whose head the hair was cut had previously dyed their hair or treated it in some way.
Brazilian extensions are meticulously sewn into someone’s hair and Micro Links are fused to strands of hair using a flat iron.
“People can spend upwards of $1,500 to get their whole heads done,” Crooks said, and that all races purchase hair weave.
“People usually assume it’s only African-American women who buy hair weaves, but our biggest customers are Caucasian women,” she said. “There are a lot of highbrow people who come in here and pay a lot to get their hair done.”
Since having their store broken into, they’ve installed an alarm, multiple surveillance cameras and keep all of their expensive hair products hidden in the store.
Owners, neighboring employees shocked by robbery
Eric Hong said his parents, Seo and Jeong Hong, have run beauty-supply stores similar to theirs off Sandtown Road in Marietta for almost 17 years, but LA Beauty Supply was just opened around a year ago so the family could expand their business.
Hong said his parents got a call from police early Thursday with news of the break-in and arrived on scene shortly after 9 a.m.
“The police called us and said there was motion activity in the store and that’s all they said at that time,” Eric Hong said. “I didn’t realize it was going to be the front (door) gone, but we did know that something was going to be broken.”
He said he didn’t recall his parents ever talking about having any problems in the area, so they were surprised this happened.
“We kind of know this area and trusted people here,” he said.
Etta Campbell, the store manager at the neighboring Family Dollar, called police to report the shattered store front. She was shocked to learn someone had driven into the store.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said. “I can’t believe someone drove through the building!”
Campbell has worked at the Family Dollar in the West Side Shopping Center for seven years.
When she discovered the damage about 7:30 a.m., she thought the roof of LA Beauty Supply had collapsed.
“It’s just an old building,” she said.
Campbell said she thinks if someone did in fact drive into the storefront, it must have happened just after 7 a.m.
“Every morning I drive around the building to check the perimeter and it wasn’t like that (at 7 a.m.), so it must have happened while I was at the bank,” she said.
Campbell returned from the bank about 7:20 a.m.