Hair vendors concerned following crime spike

Published: Feb. 25, 2016 at 9:57 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2016 at 11:18 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The price of beauty should never amount to someone's life, but Memphis is seeing a spike in crimes related to the hair business.

"It can become very expensive, but to take someone's life...that's just crazy," hair stylist Tamika Broadnax said.

Hair vendors like Willie Abston are becoming the targets of crime. Abston was killed during a robbery at "Bundles of Hair" on Millbranch Road. Julius Russell is now behind bars and charged with the crime.

But Abston is just one of at least four hair vendors to be killed in the first 50 days of 2016.

"To a lot of people, selling hair is like crack," Broadnax said. "Everybody is spending money on hair. They're spending $300-400."

Broadnax said people will steal the hair and sell it through social media and even out of their cars .

According to Memphis Police Department, Russell told his girlfriend minutes after the murder that he just robbed a guy for some hair.

Broadnax warns customers to think twice about where and when they're buying their hair and hair products.

"You want to go into a place. It [should be] a business of where you go in and purchase hair from someone that can give you a receipt...someone that has very professional business ethics."

Family of Willie Abston are not ready to talk publicly yet, because they believe other suspects remain on the loose.

MPD would not confirm or deny that claim at this time. They did say the investigation is ongoing.

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