Mesa and Gilbert beauty salons hit by apparent string of burglaries



A few East Valley beauty salons have been hit with nightly break-ins weeks apart, and now owners are wondering if they’re on the line.

The first burglary took place in Mesa and the second in Gilbert. Both business owners – both in the beauty industry – feel their industry is being targeted, and they want to warn other owners of the potential dangers.

“I never thought that Gilbert, Arizona – who is so open and in this strip – would be targeted,” said Kendra Harris, owner of Beauty bar with wild flowers.

Early Monday morning, someone broke into the Gilbert business near Higley and Guadalupe. Harris says the person couldn’t get in through the back door and eventually broke the lock box to get in.

“As soon as they walked in the back door they saw we had cameras,” Harris said. “They immediately ripped them off the wall and unplugged everything so nothing was recorded. So unfortunately we don’t have any footage from that night.”

The suspect stole things like nail polish and micro-needle pens, as well as all the money.

“They opened it,” Harris said. “So they had tools with them to open the cash register, and then took all the money there.”

A person was captured on surveillance video breaking into Nilla Skin Mesa in the middle of the night a few weeks earlier.

“It definitely seems more connected now that more of my peers have been targeted,” said Michelle Lujan, owner of Nilla Skin Mesa. “It’s very unsettling.”

Lujan says there have been a few changes since this happened.

“He broke the glass door, walked in and walked over to our cash register, took out the money. He walked around. He walked into the two back rooms,” Lujan said. “Our daughters finish earlier when other businesses leave, so we don’t feel unsafe in the place alone.”

Both owners believe their industry is being targeted.

“I think because we are businesses run by women,” Lujan said. “We are the most vulnerable, or they think we are vulnerable.”

A barber shop was also broken into Monday evening near the first burglary in Mesa. The two owners of the first two burglary cases have filed a police report, and both police departments say both cases are under investigation.

Officials say professionals in the industry should be wary and make sure they have a good alarm system and cameras.

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