As Dolly Parton famously said, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap”—and she’s right. Beauty is expensive. You have to do the foundation, and the other one for the eyes, and re-surface your skin suit every few years. It all adds up! How do people do it? Having an excess of disposable income, for some. For the rest of us? Beauty heists, baby.
If you set the right Google Alerts or scour the right police blotters, you’ll find that beauty heists are more common than you might think. I was just making a small funny above—these heisters probably aren’t using all the products they steal. More likely, they’re selling the ill-gotten bounty. There’s a burgeoning resale market that the F.B.I. attributes to beauty deal-hungry online shoppers.
There are plenty of run-of-the-mill robberies, but every so often, one really stands out, either because of the personalities involved, the size of the heist, or a certain flourish on the part of the robbers. The multi-million-dollar heist of YouTube personality Jeffree Star’s makeup warehouse, for example. Most recently, though? The spate of perfume robberies at Ulta stores in California.
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Speaking with CBS Local in the Bay Area, Napa Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Todd Shulman spun a tale of fragrance robbers and their crosstown getaway on Tuesday. Two women entered an Ulta Beauty and “cleared out several shelves of high-end perfumes,” Shulman said, with CBS noting that they managed to nab $3,600 worth of product. Some employees confronted them, but they ran, launching a gorgeous car chase.
The thieves covered their rear license plate with something lacy and white, which looked an awful lot like underwear, but turned out to be a nice going-out top. This is Ocean’s 8’s effect on the culture in action. When have robbers paid so much attention to their car’s clothes?
Unfortunately, when your license plate looks that cute, it can’t be ignored. The Napa Police Department joined forces with the police department from a nearby town, and managed to apprehend them when the women made a wrong turn and tried to cross some railroad tracks. “Their vehicle was disabled—all four tires were flattened—because they tried to drive over the tracks,” Shulman said. Yoinks! The two women were arrested and charged with strong-arm robbery, among other things. And for the curious, it appears that $3,600 worth of perfume will get you about two substantial shopping bags full of boxes.