3 men arrested in string of metro Atlanta hair store burglaries

Three men Fayette County authorities believed to be behind a number of hair store burglaries across metro Atlanta are in custody. Swift action from a business owner whose store was broken into helped track them down.

"My thought was, ‘I can’t believe it. It’s happening again,’" the owner of the Hair Xchange told FOX 5.

The owner of Hair Xchange said it was as if the thieves had been to her shop along Highway 85 in Fayetteville before.

"They’re skilled. They knew what they were doing, what kind of window it was, what kind of glass it was," she said. "They were in for about a minute and 20 seconds."

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Surveillance cameras set up inside Hair Xchange in Fayette County captured a burglary in action.

Officials with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said the three men seen on surveillance video broke into the business just after 5 a.m. Friday, smashing the glass door, which has since been boarded up.

"They bust through and three of them came in, they backed up with their van with a towel over the [license] plate, backed up and came right on in," the store owner recalled.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, told FOX 5 the thieves came out with several bundles of hair and wigs, totaling just under $10,000.

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Surveillance cameras set up inside Hair Xchange in Fayette County captured a burglary in action.

"A lot of those were custom orders, so it affects me because I have to now call the customers and tell them they have to wait again or give refunds," she explained. "That’s just a huge hit on the business in terms of having to give refunds."

She said it’s the second burglary they’ve had in a little over a year but this time she wasn’t the only hair store hit.

"They hit another store in Doraville before they came here," she stated. "I feel violated. We worked hard to get the business where it is today and for someone to easily take items you work hard for it’s just a violation."

The woman told FOX 5 she just happened to be awake early that morning, saw the alert from her cameras that someone was there and immediately called 911.

Surveillance cameras set up inside Hair Xchange in Fayette County captured a burglary in action.

That quick thinking allowed Fayette County authorities to get there within 15 minutes. Coupled with assistance from police in Peachtree City, investigators were able to track down the men, who were pulled over speeding away from the scene.

"That’s the main thing. I don’t know if they got caught with the items, but they got caught," she said.

Authorities arrested and charged Christopher Collins, Paul Smith and Fredrick Wills of Houston, Texas with smash-and-grab burglary.  

Fayette County law enforcement officials said detectives are working with investigators from other metro Atlanta agencies as the investigation continues.