MARYLAND

Police: Fencing ring at Beltsville hair salon busted

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Police say they've busted a theft and fencing ring at a Prince George's County beauty salon.

The owner hired thieves to steal from big name retailers, then sold the goods out of her salon, police say.

In the raid, Prince George's County Police uncovered handbags, shoes, jewelry, perfume, even liquor. All were on display they say, in the back of the La'Shae Hair Salon in Beltsville. The goods were stolen from area stores like DSW Shoes, police say.

Police say they knew exactly what had been going on here for at least the last six months. They say La'Shae owner Esther Goodwin hired "boosters" - professional thieves who would steal items and bring them to Goodwin. She resold the goods to customers in the back of the hair salon, police say.

"This business was so lucrative she stopped doing hair," says PGPD Sgt. Aubrey Thompson. "She was just buying stolen products and selling it outside the shop. She set up a separate store inside the hair salon."

Police arrested Goodwin Tuesday and recovered an estimated $20,000 worth of stolen goods. Police say she was doing thousands of dollars of business a day selling stolen items.

People who live in the neighborhood and those who work in the other businesses in the strip mall say they had no idea what was going on.

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