NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) – Several non-essential businesses, currently closed because of COVID-19, were targets of a crime spree in North Versailles and East McKeesport over the weekend.
“I think this is very terrible to do to hard-working people,” said Christina Pawlowski who owns Xtreme Tan on 5th Avenue in East McKeesport.
The tanning salon was broken into sometime Sunday according to the owner.
Pawlowski said it appears the thief entered through the back door of the building, which houses the tanning salon, a barbershop, and a bar that is permanently closed.
Following the suspect’s path of destruction, Pawlowski said, upon entry, it seemed the thief went into the bar first, then smashed their way through the walls of the building, until they reached the tanning salon and barbershop.
Pawlowski provided surveillance photos of the suspect with KDKA’s Royce Jones.
The owner of the barbershop was not there when KDKA arrived on the scene.
Pawlowski said the thief stole a laptop and an unknown amount of cash, which was stashed inside a lockbox, in a closet.
The suspect also made off with some of The salon’s CBD inventory. The salon’s furniture and tanning products were also ransacked.
The cash drawer, which was empty, was removed from its proper place but not stolen.
Not too far away, on Lincoln Highway in North Versailles, Hair by Lou was also broken into.
According to the owner, Lou Dick, someone smashed through the storefront window and stole her empty cash drawer and ransacked the place, destroying some of her valuable antiques.
Since 1989, Hair by Lou has been known for its $5 haircuts for people of all ages. Lou said it’s been her way of giving back to the community. She never thought someone would take from her in this way.
“If they would have just come in and asked me for some money I would have given them money,” said Lou.
In the same building as Hair by Lou, Commercial Maintenance and Cleaning Service, which is co-owned and operated by Jullian Turner and his mother, was also stolen from. Somebody stole the company’s iPad and rummaged through some drawers.
“Everyone in this building his honest. Works hard to make a living trying to support their families. We don’t deserve these things,” Turner said.
According to Turner, no client information was stored on that iPad. There was no cash or other valuables inside the office.
An employee from Lea’s Floral Shop on 5th Avenue in East McKeesport told KDKA, they were also targeted by a thief.
The employee said the thief first accessed a storage room, which is connected to the building but offers no door access to the inside.
From there, the suspect smashed their way through the walls to get inside the flower shop. Upon entry, they ransacked the business and broke into the cash drawer, which was empty.
The employee learned these details through surveillance video and said the incident occurred around 6:45am on Sunday.
Police are investigating these break-ins.