The Black Market: Thieves Steal $50K Worth Of Weave From Chicago Beauty Supply; Cash Register Untouched

June 26, 2014  |  


Source: Shutterstock


The market for weaves of all luxurious lengths is pretty large these days, and it seems that more and more people are looking to buy extensions, but at a cost that’s not as exorbitant as some beauty supplies sometimes try to sell them for. This demand makes way for a black market, where individuals are bold enough to throw bricks in beauty supply store doors to break in and take as many bundle packs of extensions that they can get, only to make a profit on the streets.

In 2012, thieves busted through the wall of a beauty supply store in Chicago to steal a massive $230,000 worth of weave. Earlier this year, a beauty supply store worker, also in Chicago, was pepper sprayed as a woman grabbed 10 packs of remy hair, valued at $100 each. And when a group of men and women tried to rob a couple purchasing hair at a beauty supply in Atlanta late last year, one of the suspects ended up being shot dead. Things are getting quite crazy for some hair, ya’ll.

And just this week, a beauty supply store in Oak Lawn (which is just outside of Chicago) was burglarized, as nine people broke in (using a brick), grabbing all the bundles of hair extensions they could get, with the owner saying he lost $50,000 worth. But aside from the weave, the robbers didn’t want anything else. The store owner says they didn’t bother to even go near the cash register.

“It’s crazy, it’s unbelievable the way it happened,” said beauty supply store manager Al Salman in an interview with an ABC affiliate in Chicago.

“If it was a one person thing you would think, okay he needs some money, he broke in. But this was organized. That’s what makes this scary. They did it right. They knew what to get, they exactly got the expensive stuff. You’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars gone in less than a minute.”

Salman believes someone had been keeping an eye on the beauty supply before the robbery, because one of the burglars knew to open a closed box that held quite a few bundles of stored extensions.

No one has been arrested for the theft as of yet, but Salman wants justice, and to see “any organized crime like this” stop. Such robberies have been hitting many beauty supply stores all over the city in the last year or two, and really, been hitting stores all over the country. 

In a piece on these thefts done by CNN last year, Arizona State University English Professor (and lecturer on hair matters) Neal Lester had this to say about this uptick in robberies for hair: 

“People who have the audacity and the ingenuity to do this will be able to sell them. It’s no different from selling DVDs, where they are sold out of the back of your trunk. The trend speaks to the notion that hair is so intricately wrapped to one’s identity that there are risks people take. And it’s a telling moment in the economy, that people are now ready and willing to pay such a price.”

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  • Ginny

    Black thugs lives DO NOT MATTER! Shoot ’em dead. That way, they won’t return.

  • Jon

    If, Black women are out there stealing weave …then what does that tell the world how Black women feel about who they are? Beleieve me ..”on one else is stealing Black people’s hair! Go figure black women.

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  • T.J. Diggs

    It’s the perfect crime when you think about it. Unlike money the hair can be easily sold and is completely untraceable. Human hair is very expensive and not only black women buy it. White girls get expensive weaves too y’all! I bet they sell it as fast as they can steal it.

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  • guest

    So let me get this STRAIGHT , you have women , that want to look like SOMEONE ELSE so bad that they will steal fake/synthetic/someone else’s hair , that they cannot afford ? Doesnt this seem a bit extreme to look a certain way? Now are European/Latin/Asian women stealing Afro wigs to look like Black women ?

    • guest

      Am I behind the times , should I be looking for a “Sam Donaldson” toupee to fit in ? Would women want us more if we did ?

    • Prietalinda85

      Is it extreme? Absolutely! No other ethnicity is stealing Afro wigs or afro textured hair for their consumption. However, I have heard of people being drugged or held at gunpoint for lengthy dreadlocks in parts of Africa or long ponytails in South America. These particular textures of hair are Universally considered beautiful and a lot of women want to fit that standard. I personally don’t agree or subscribe to this way of thinking as I have always appreciated natural styles and all things pan African or Afro Pride but I understand why some may feel this way. To embrace yourself naturally is actually a counterculture and considered against the norm when everyone else is getting weaves and relaxers. If society embraced natural hair more, this would not be an issue.

    • Phoebe Pasdesignz Stewart

      A lot of times, guys are stealing to flip & make a quick profit. Sad…

  • Alfreda Calbert

    I am glad hair extensions are starting to wain. Next they will start killing people so people can have “fake” long hair. After several other robberies, it seems the owner of this store should have taken more pre-cautions.

  • hi-liter

    Oh yeah, been seeing this happening in a few urban cities. Expensive weave robberies from the beauty supply stores is the new lick now, and they gone sell EVERY single bundle. Gots to have steal bars on the doors and windows because they will run the entire vehicle in the store.

  • lockstress

    Uhm…all this for hair? How bout you grow your own shyt.#baldbytchissues

    • Kit23

      Some women have lost their hair thanks to illness (like Cancer), stress, medications, and heredity. Sometimes growing your own hair is harder than it sounds.

      • Jon

        Sure one’s hair is always difficult to grow….especially if like most Black women ” that don’t even take care of their hair”! They give fake hair more attention then their own….that’s sick!

    • anonymouse

      I doubt anybody is stealing 50k of hair to put on their own heads. They’re gonna sell it for a discount and pocket the profits.

  • hollyw

    I approve. Time for blacks to infiltrate the business and buy black hair from black buyers…………….j/k.

    • Jon

      Too, little too late! The Asians already have that industry “LOCKED UP”! bringing up the rear as per usual!

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  • 9Boots

    Sounds like it’s time for these beauty supply owners to start locking their hair in a safe at night and it needs to be a heavy a$$ safe bolted to a wall at that. A safe that can not be easily moved.

  • Ilovemesomeweaveyall

    Too bad for the owner! but I sure will by me three bundles of 14,16 & 18.