As a less expensive alternative, Quinn says that Houston beauty business owners devised a tagging system and have enlisted the help of the police department. These days, if officers bust a suspect with loads of hair that appears stolen, police have a way of returning the goods since each piece of merchandise is identifiable by an individual owner’s mark, such as a bar code or numbering system. Owners should also think about moving the hair deeper into the store to make it more difficult to get to and consider securing merchandise in a steel cage or gun safe, Quinn suggests. “I think what has made the biggest difference is that all of the owners got together and approached us from the start with what was happening and an idea of how we could help,” says Quinn. “I would encourage owners who are worried about this sort of thing happening at their stores to work out a similar system with their local police as soon as possible.”
But what else is out there to keep your merchandise from walking out the door? Some companies that specialize in keeping merchandise secure, such as Alpha High Theft Solutions, believe they might have answers. The company—a division of Checkpoint Systems—offers the Fashion2 Hard Tag. The device costs about 50 cents apiece and is flexible enough to be pinned through the woven part of the hair extension without causing damage, while also small enough to fit—and be nondescript—inside most packaging. The company boasts several additional products that can be attached to merchandise and will sound an alarm if taken without going through the cash-register area.
Even after all of the high-tech, expensive security upgrades to her business, Davis says she still has days when she can’t shake the uneasy feeling that someday she might be robbed again. Nevertheless, she says she’ll be prepared if it does.
“I will probably always carry fear around in the back of my mind; especially right now, when the economy is bad and people are desperate,” says Davis. “Sometimes I think twice about what I’m doing, but I have the belief that I was brought to this, and it’s what I’m meant to be doing. No one is going to force me to quit this business except me.” n
Kendall Septon is a freelance writer based in Denver.
[Image: Courtesy of Alpha High Theft Solutions]