Now that’s a hairy situation.
A shoplifting attempt at a Maryland wig shop turned into an all out brawl after an employee tried to stop three thieves from stealing merchandise, according to police.
The terrible trio strolled into Esther’s Beauty Salon/Supplies in Silver Spring, Maryland, just before 7 p.m. last Friday and tried to swipe some wigs, Montgomery County Police said in a statement.
Reached by phone, a woman who identified herself as the manager of the store, told Oxygen.com the suspects had been skulking about inside the shop for around 15 minutes before she asked them to leave, as she was about to close for the evening.
The three pals didn’t take kindly to that suggestion, and hurled a string of curse words at the manager before stalking out, she told Oxygen.com. It was at that point that the suspect in the green shirt tried to swipe the wig off the head of the mannequin, the manager said.
“They used very bad words, and when they leave, one of them grabbed a wig,” said the manager, who declined to give her name.
Video of the incident shows the attempted swipe, while the manager tried to grab it back and the security guard appeared to detain two of the suspects at the door.
A mighty struggle ensued, as the thief in the green T-shirt repeatedly punched and kicked the manager in an effort to flee, while the other two suspects tussled with the 74-year-old security guard and tried to unlock the front door. One of the pillaging pals could be seen on video laughing throughout the fracas.
According to police and the manager of the store, one of the suspects then pulled out a canister of pepper spray and began to douse the two employees in an effort to escape their grasp.
The manager told Oxygen.com the pepper spray was the deciding factor in the brawl.
“It really hurt,” she said. “If they didn’t spray us, we could have caught them.”
Eventually, two of the suspects managed to get outside, but the green-clad bandit became trapped in one of the aisles as the security guard tried to whip them with a purse that had fallen to the floor in the fray.
Then, still clutching the wig, the thief charged the security guard and made it to the door, but both employees held on for dear life, preventing the vagabond from leaving. Turning to fight once again, the thief repeatedly punched and kicked the two employees before finally making it outside.
Before the victims could catch their breath however, the thief forced the door open once more, grabbed the wig in question from the floor where it had fell, and ran off to parts unknown, the manager told Oxygen.com.
“The very surprising thing is they went out and then came back in as I am trying to close the door,” the manager said. “I hope they catch them, and not only because of money. It is very important that someone catch them.”
Both victims were brought to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, including the security guard, who sustained a cut to his head, police said.
The suspects have not yet been identified, according to police.
Police asked that anyone with information about the incident call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or an indictment stemming from the crime.
[Photo: Montgomery County Police Department]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.