Created: 01/23/2014 6:16 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
3/4 inch plywood is not glamorous, but it’s the new front door at one of Albuquerque’s best known hair salons, thanks to a beauty parlor burglar who struck Roberto’s Le salon Wednesday night. It’s the latest in a crime wave of beauty parlor break-ins.
A new security camera system at Roberto’s caught the action at about 11:30 p.m. Somebody throws a rock through the glass door. After a few minutes a man crawls through the hole and walks toward the cash register. He freezes for a moment, realizing he has set off a sensor alarm, then moves quickly to the cash drawer, rakes out the money, and leaves in a hurry.
This time he didn’t get any of the salon’s world-class haircutting instruments, unlike four other burglaries at Roberto’s since the shop opened at its new location at 2029 San Mateo NE almost one year ago.
“It’s hair salon products is what it is,” said owner Roberto Vasquez. “It’s shears, blow dryers, irons, hair care products. It’s very expensive.”
“When you don’t have your tools you can’t work,” said his partner Sara Chavez. “It’s like the artist without their paintbrush. They’re threatening our livelihood. It hurts my heart.”
“I’m not a cookie cutter,” Vasquez said. “I create. I sculpt hair, and that is what I’m known for, and I’ve been in business 35, 36 years.”
For most of those years Roberto’s was in Old Town. Vasquez moved his salon to San Mateo and remodeled his new building last winter. His plans did not include five burglaries.
Albuquerque police are investigating a rash of beauty salon break-ins, most of them featuring stolen scissors and razors and other gear. Could there be a black market for this stuff? Could the break-in at Roberto’s be connected to the others? Could it be the work of one really un-beautiful bandit, or a team? Police hope to have some answers soon.