by Linda Mumma

STOCKTON (CBS13) — An unusual theft at a Stockton salon prompted a stylist to warn other businesses in the area.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Avenue Salon on Stockton’s Miracle Mile.

“She came in and wanting a new style and so I had a thorough consultation with her,” said stylist Jessica Macias.

Macias said the woman she had never seen before sat down in her chair and requested a cut and color.

“I went to the back to mix her color and I had this weird gut instinct and I was thinking ‘I hope she doesn’t go through my purse,’” she said.

Macias said she was concerned because she had $500 in cash in her wallet.

“It was my rent money. I hide from myself rather than keep it in my bank account,” she explained.

While Macias was mixing the hair dye, another employee was applying lash extensions in a nearby room.

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“I heard her going back and forth in the chair because the chair squeaks and then I heard her slam the cabinet shut, and I remember telling my client ‘What is she doing out there? She doesn’t know where her stuff is today?’” said Amanda Cortez.

Cortez said she didn’t realize the sounds were being made by the new client rather than Macias. It turns out the woman who was left unattended with Macias’ purse placed in a closed cabinet.

“I come back. She’s talking with me and is very friendly. She’s sharing a little bit of life experiences with me,” said Macias.

After applying the woman’s dye and letting the color set, Macias said she opened up the cabinet to get her purse.

“I went into my wallet to buy a soda and that’s when I realized all of my money was gone,” she said.

Macias said the woman was the only client she had that day so she decided to confront her about the missing money.

“I just walked up to her with my empty wallet and I asked her, ‘Were you in my purse?’ She looked stunned. She immediately said, ‘No, I wasn’t in your purse,’” Macias said.

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Determined to get her rent money back, Macias said she asked the woman to prove she didn’t have her cash.

“I was like ‘Ok, then empty out your wallet and show me your purse to verify my money is not in there,’” she explained.

As the woman pulled out items from her purse, Macias said she spotted a $50 dollar bill and cash folded in the same way she had it stored in her purse.

“I knew I had a 50 in there and I caught a glimpse of a 50 and just snatched it out of her hand and I told her to get the “F” out and don’t ever come back,” she said.

Macias coworkers said that angered the woman and she began yelling at the employees.

“It was pretty scary there for a second. I didn’t know if someone was going to get hit. There was a lot of screaming going on,” said Cortez.

Cortez said she grabbed her cell phone to call 911 and snap pictures of the woman.

“She was on the phone the entire time with PD,” said Macias.

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As the woman left the salon, the stylists said they watched to see whether she got into a car or walked in a certain direction.

“We ended up seeing her go into one of the residences in the area and at that point, PD (police) had already shown up,” said Macias.

When police arrived at the home, they said the woman was rinsing out her hair. Police said the woman admitted to taking the cash and even gave Macias more than what she took.

“He (the officer) came back with a $20 bill… so I even got a tip out of all of this,” said Macias.

Macias is now warning other salons to lock up their belongings in a secure place away from customers and took to Facebook to spread her message.

“Really the whole point of my post was you just have to be aware of your surroundings,” she said.

Macias said after talking with police she decided not to press charges. The woman had explained to officers that she was going through a tough time.

She posted an apology on community Facebook page writing, “Very sorry for what I have done. I know I was wrong but this is not me. I sincerely apologize for my action to everyone who can forgive me. We all go through stuff and it happened to be my time. I’m not perfect and I don’t do things like this. Sorry.”

Macias reacted to the apology.

“I read a meme on the internet today and it said ‘You are 100% responsible for your own life’ and I firmly believe that,” she said. “I”m going through some stuff for the past two years. I have two young children I’m trying to support and taking someone’s stuff has never been a thought.”


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