Beauty shop bandits: Four stores hit on the same morning, police believe cases are connected

MAPLEWOOD, Mo. – Four beauty supply shops in the St. Louis metro area were burglarized in the same morning and police are confident the cases are not isolated.

“I believe they’re connected. All of them,” Maplewood Police Detective John LeClerc said Tuesday.

Nu Fashion Beauty on Manchester Ave was broken into at about 1 a.m. on January 6. Surveillance video shows a rock was used to shatter the glass front door to the store. The four men can be seen on video running into the store, where they proceeded to steal the cash register and some inventory.

LeClerc said the men got away in a white or silver-colored Nissan Sentra.

That same morning, hours later similar burglaries happened at beauty supply stores in Spanish Lake, south St. Louis, and Bellefontaine Neighbors.

“Obviously we’ll use information that we get from other departments and their incidents, and likewise with us. We’ll share information and take it from there,” Lt. LeClerc said.

LeClerc said the Maplewood shop was hit first. Within hours, thieves struck the stores in the other communities.

In all the cases, the suspects involved three to four men. The men used a rock or brick to shatter the front door to the store, and like the Maplewood case, the suspects stole the cash register.

Beauty supply shops have become prime targets for criminals. Products such as hair extensions can be sold on the street for big money.

“It’s disheartening for the business owners. They’re trying to make a living. And people are smashing their windows. And taking inventory, and a lot of the cash that they have on hand,” Lt. LeClerc said.