It was a typical business day for the owner of Mr. Indian Hair on Almeda Rd. in Houston, until he received a call from one of his employees that made him shake his head in disappointment.
Gayle Quoquisia, Sherrell Hadnot, Alisa Renee Flannagan and Jameisha Elaine Kennon were each arrested and charged with organized retail theft, which is a felony.
What was their crime?
Stealing over $15,000 of hair extensions and the whole thing was caught on surveillance video.
Security cameras were rolling on September 16th, when the four women came in to Mr. Indian Hair retail store attempting to purchase some hair extensions.
Quoquisia, 27, entered first and reportedly began asking a store employee questions about some of the hair available for sale. Officials said Hadnot entered soon after and began to pace around the shop before leaving and then coming back inside. After Hadnot entered for the second time, Flannagan and Kennon allegedly joined them.
Police said Hadnot stood close to the store employee while the other three looked around. One of the suspects asked for a different kind of hair, so the employee went to a back storage room in search of it. Court documents state that the employee then heard the women “violently shaking the store hangers,” so she locked herself inside the storage room while the suspects allegedly snatched over 70 bundles of hair from their display hangers and ran outside with them, fleeing the scene in a white car. Investigators say they found other reports of similar bulk thefts and that the alleged getaway vehicle, a white Mazda sedan, was the one involved in at least one other similar theft incident.
All in all, more than $15,000 worth of hair was stolen from Mr. Indian Hair and they would have probably gotten away with it, if it weren’t for the criminals use of social media.
Mr. Indian Hair owner, Kehlin Farooq, was not in the store that day he received the news that his product was stolen, but understood why these young ladies would be after his product.
“We don’t sell beauty supply hair at Mr. Indian Hair,” said Farooq. “Our hair is not synthetic; it’s imported from India. We sell virgin Indian hair, which is high quality and lasts women over a year’s time.”
Farooq states that he had a feeling that one of the suspects that appeared on the surveillance tape was tied to a phone call he received about a particular piece of hair approximately 10 minutes prior to robbery. He told the young lady to go by the store and pick up the hair and that is when he states he received the call from his employee informing him that they were robbed. That phone call and that cell number became critical in helping Farooq find out more details about the robbery and who might have been involved.
Even more helpful in solving this case, was the fact that these women decided to post pictures of the stolen hair on Instagram and attempt to sell the hair on the social media site.
Farooq told investigators that a few days after the robbery; an unknown woman came in to the store reporting that she saw the stolen hair for sale on the suspects’ Instagram photo sharing accounts. Farooq began to look into this tip and started researching the Instagram accounts of the suspect and comparing the photos from robbery caught on the surveillance video, to those of the people on Instagram.
“These young ladies deserve to end up on America’s dumbest criminals,” said Farooq. “I called the detective and said these girls are on Instagram with the hair in their head are talking about it and are saying Mr. Indian Hair looks great. I was like, oh wow this is crazy.”
Farooq is extremely grateful that the women were arrested and that no weapons were used and that his employee is alright, but he believes that people need to wake up, go to work and get their own. He also believes that this issue speaks to a larger issue involving the African-American community.
“Outside of the fact that I’m thankful that these women did get arrested, I won’t be satisfied until we address the fact that our educational and economic systems are broken in the Black community that led to this type of behavior,” said Farooq. “That day, it was Mr. Indian Hair, tomorrow it’s someone else’s business or home. These actions won’t stop until we address this head on and I’m prepared to have the discussion.”