Prince George’s County police charged four barbers with theft Wednesday for selling stolen toiletries and counterfeit clothes and shoes out of the Chillum shop where they all worked, authorities said.
At Noveau Hair on New Hampshire Avenue, customers could get a bottle of Tide laundry detergent, a tube of toothpaste or even a pair of knock-off Dolce & Gabbana loafers with their haircut, authorities said. Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County police department, said officers seized $125,000 worth of either stolen or counterfeit merchandise when they raided the shop Wednesday and charged four employees who worked there.
“They were selling this stuff out of the barbershop,” Parker said. “Among other things, you have liquid Tide, you’ve got probably 50 to 100 tubes of toothpaste, dozens of bottles of Dove body wash. . .basically like this mini pharmacy.”
The raid, Parker said, was the culmination of a two-month investigation by the department’s organized retail crime unit, which works with storeowners in Prince George’s County to investigate and deter crime that affects business. Parker said a tip led detectives to the operation involving stolen goods at Noveau Hair.
Police identified those charged as William Smith, 36, of D.C.; Damien Marbury, 33, of Clinton; Gerard Brunn, 31, of Silver Spring; and Samuel Afoakwah, 41, of Germantown. Parker said detectives had confirmed by working with legitimate retailers that the toiletries and other items were either counterfeit or stolen.
Parker said glass cases with some of the stolen merchandise were set in the back of the barbershop, though they were visible to customers who walked in. She said the toiletries were kept in a locked back office, though they were apparently available to anyone.
The investigation is ongoing, and it is possible others could be charged, Parker said. She said detectives also found shipping containers and were probing whether the barbers might have sent some of the stolen and counterfeit merchandise overseas.