Mesa, Gilbert beauty salons hit by apparent string of burglaries

A few East Valley beauty salons have been hit by overnight break-ins just weeks apart, and now the owners are wondering if they're connected.

The first break-in happened in Mesa and the second one happened in Gilbert. The two business owners - both in the beauty industry - feel that their industry is being targeted, and they want to warn other owners of the potential dangers.

"I never thought that in Gilbert, Arizona - that is so open and in this strip - would be targeted," said Kendra Harris, owner for Wildflower Beauty Bar.

Early Monday morning, someone broke into the Gilbert business near Higley and Guadalupe. Harris says that the person was unable to get in through the back door and eventually broke the lock box to make their way in.

"As soon as they came in the back door they saw that we had cameras," Harris said. "They immediately ripped them off of the wall and unplugged everything so that nothing would be recorded. so we unfortunately have no footage from that night."

The suspect stole things like nail polish and micro-needling pens, as well as all of the cash.

"They opened it," Harris said. "So they had tools with them to pry the cash register open, and then took all of the cash that was inside of it."

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

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

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

"He broke the glass door, came in and proceeded to our cash register, took out the cash. Walked around. Went into the two back rooms," Lujan said. "Our girls are finishing earlier when other businesses are leaving so we don’t feel unsafe in the plaza alone."

Both owners believe their industry is being targeted.

"I think because we are women-run businesses," Lujan said. "We are most vulnerable, or they think we’re vulnerable."

A hair salon was also broken into Monday night near the first break-in in Mesa. Both of the owners of the first two burglary cases have filed a police report, and both police departments say both cases are under investigation.

Officials say that those in the industry should beware and ensure that they have a good alarm system and cameras.

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