By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Brian Charles Hair Studio was burglarized in the early morning hours of December 18. Nearly $2,000 was taken in less than a minute of a “smash and grab” case.
“It’s been almost 10 years since we opened and we’re pretty fortunate,” said Jon Gray, co-owner.
But Sunday, that changed. The alarm for Brian Charles went off at 3:39 a.m.
“We got a call from the alarm company and looked at the security footage and there was someone there,” Gray said.
Gray and Ric Salvadalena, co-owner and master stylist, raced out to the scene.
The salon is located in Steiner Ranch’s Quinlan Crossing Shopping Center at 5145 RM 620.
It appeared the thief was acting alone. He broke through one of the front glass doors and glass shattered inwards.
“Right away he retrieves something he threw through the door,” Gray said. The suspect was wearing a COVID-style mask and a red hat so it was hard to see his face.
He passed by the iPads, shampoos, styling gels and hair products. He went right to where the safe was near the front desk.
“He went right to the safe area,” Gray said. From the previous day, there was roughly $1,800 that wasn’t secured and the thief took that.
“Clearly he was coming for the cash and that’s it,” Gray said. “Everything was so fast with the break in and exit… he was in there a minute.”
The police got there by 4 a.m. A lot of time the police park in the shopping center parking lot between calls but in the early Sunday hours, they were on another call when the break in happened.
“(Nevertheless) the cops were there pretty darn fast,” Gray said.
Kristen Dark, Travis County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, shared that the detective doesn’t have any details that can be made public yet and that “her investigation is active.”
A getaway car was not visible in the security footage so it may have been parked at a distance. “In the footage, there were no headlights but when the police showed up, lights hit the dark room,” Gray said.
“We’re going to ask the property company about exterior footage,” Salvadalena added.
The owners are also reminding staff about the importance of keeping cash in the safe.
“I think the emergency glass company boarded up the door within an hour,” Gray said. “It’s not ideal to have a boarded door in a beauty business but that’s temporary.”
According to the glass repair company, Brian Charles Studio was the fifth or sixth business across Austin over the weekend that had been burglarized by breaking in like this.
By Monday, Brian Charles was “back to normal services,” Salvadalena said.
The co-owners admit that it has been a setback.
“This put a massive dent in our week with the holidays and unfortunately Christmas shopping,” Salvadalena said.
Gray shared a word of advice to other businesses: “If anything, other businesses need to take security seriously.”