Prince George’s County police have shut down a fencing operation for stolen goods that they say was run out of a Beltsville hair salon.
Police charged Esther Goodwin with two counts of theft, alleging she ran a lucrative fencing operation out of her salon on the 4700 block of Sellman Road.
According to police, Goodwin purchased goods from professional thieves who had stolen merchandise from a DSW store in Largo.
Police said they were contacted in June by an officer for DSW’s loss prevention about a possible fencing operation because the store was losing so much merchandise. Police did surveillance and undercover work to locate the Beltsville salon.
Police said undercover officers posing as thieves sold $5,000 worth of merchandise to Goodwin before her arrest.
The salon, which was arranged like a boutique, had about $20,000 in stolen merchandise, also including items from Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, said Sgt. Aubrey Thompson of the county police’s Special Enforcement Division.
“This business became so lucrative that [Goodwin] stopped doing hair and she was just buying stolen product and selling it out of the shop,” he said.
Goodwin is scheduled to appear at the District Court for Prince George’s County in Hyattsville on Nov. 11.