String of Miami Burglaries Target Laser Hair Removal Machines, Worrying Clinic Owners

Remember the classic viral video from 2010 featuring Antoine Dodson? After a would-be rapist broke into his sister’s bedroom and tried to assault her, Dodson warned his fellow Alabama neighbors to “hide your kids, hide your wives and hide your husbands” in order to protect them from similar attacks.

Now, instead of hiding spouses and children, certain establishments in Florida have steps taken to hide their laser hair removal machines. That’s because a series of break-ins in Miami-area cosmetic skin centers and spas have led proprietors to tighten up their facility’s security measures.

In January, burglars hit the Spyros Laser Medspa and smashed the clinic’s front windows before making off with the large piece of machinery, estimated to be worth between $70,000 and $100,000. That set off a string of 12 similar robberies throughout the state, with criminals targeting either laser hair removal machines or other valuable technological appliances like laptops. The owner of Spyros Laser Medspa said the machine was insured, but the incident led to a week’s worth of lost business.

So far, police have identified a list of individuals they believe to be involved with the burglaries and attempts. Those who lifted the hair removal machine from Spyros Laser Medspa attached it to a dark-colored Ford F-150 pickup with the license plate 190XBD, according to police. That bit of information has helped investigators slowly piece together who may be responsible. One of the suspects, Kelsey Williams, was booked by police last week in Miami Beach and charged with burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief.

As for why police didn’t arrive to stop any of the burglaries, the owner of Spyros Laser Medspa says his clinic has an alarm system, but the criminals were in and out in less than three minutes.

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic medical procedure that’s been gaining popularity since its initial commercial introduction in the 1990s. Instead of trimming the hair with blades, the laser removal process uses a pulsating beam of light to remove unwanted hair from arms, legs, armpits and parts of the face. When the light beam reaches the hair follicle at its growing point, the heat destroys the follicle instantly.

CBS’ Miami affiliate was granted an inside look at the property and evidence room of the South Miami Police Department, where two recovered laser hair removal machines currently reside. That’s a good sign, police chief Rene Landa says, but there’s more work to be done to right what’s been wronged with the other break-in sites.

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