(KTVI) - Two beauty supply stores were among the businesses hit early Wednesday morning by smash and grab thieves.
It happened at Goodfellow and West Florissant around 5:00 a.m. when according to police, a stolen Dodge pick-up truck was used to back up into the Paradise Beauty Supply store. Two male suspects with heir faces covered ran into the store and stole a cash registers and about 50 bags of expense hair weave.
Then police say they got into a similar truck and took off down an alley. This break-in happened just a little under an hour after another smash and grab crime at a Sally's Beauty Supply store at Interstate 270 and West Florissant.
In that one, a window at the store was broken around 4:15 a.m. Workers say the thieves took equipment like blow dryers and clippers.
The owners of the truck from the first scene were contacted by police and did recover their vehicle.
St. Louis County police think the warm weather causes more folks, including the bad guys, to get out and about. Officer Randy Vaughn a spokesman for county police said the warm weather may cause more folks to be out and about. Vaughn said, "If things get warmer crime increase in all areas this is just an example right now."
There have been at least nine smash and grabs in recent weeks. In many cases stolen trucks and cars are used to ram through the front door of a business.
Vehicle owners are among the victims. Nebra Miller`s truck was ripped off and then used in a smash and grab crime. She said, "We worked hard to get this truck but just to come up and take our stuff so you can bang up into a business that I'm sure they worked hard to put that together."
Beauty supply shop thieves are stealing human hair. Solomon Ali`s family owns Prince Beauty Supply in Pagedale, "I just hope we never have the issue but you always think about it."
His business has not been hit but he is concerned. A bag of human hair extensions can easily cost well over $100. Ria Terry is a customer, "It`s very popular. A lot of people on a daily basis purchase human hair."
Thefts of human hair extensions were rampant a few years ago in cities like Chicago and New York. Officer Randy Vaughn said, "Anytime you have something popular that`s going to add to larcenies."
Prince Beauty has lots of security like surveillance cameras, a gate over the front door and concrete barriers. Ali Solomon said, "It`s really bad. It`s a concern you have to protect your business and anything else."
Police said a good and not expensive security device maybe lots of lighting both inside and outside of the store.
One man has been arrested in connection with at least one of the many smash and grab crimes across the St. Louis area. Cahokia police hope to charge the 50 year old East St. Louis man sometimes Thursday. They believe he is responsible for a smash and grab in their community.