A longtime nail salon owner in Santa Barbara says he and his wife are the victims of a distraction-style robbery.
The suspects, believed to be five women, got away with thousands in cash.
Taylor Tran and his wife Thanh Nguyen have owned and operated “Fancy Nails” in the shopping center on the 200 block of West Carrillo for more than 20 years.
The couple says a group of women walked into their nail salon around 5 p.m. on Friday night. The nail salon was packed with customers.
Tran and Nguyen say one of the women walked around talking to customers, while others started asking the couple a lot of questions.
Another woman, carrying a large purse, walked back and forth to the bathroom.
“I looked in her face, she was so nervous, and I can feel it,” Nguyen said.
The couple continued work on their clients and couple couldn’t see what was going on behind them.
“I don’t know until I closed the shop and I go look for the purse and the purse not there, the iPad not there,” Tran said.
Tran and Nguyen believe the woman carrying the large purse went upstairs to their office and grabbed Nguyen’s purse and iPad, while the other suspects were distracting them.
The couple says the suspects got away with 5,000 dollars cash, Nguyen’s phone, identification cards, and keys to the shop.
Tran and Nguyen were so scared, they spent a sleepless night in the shop, believing the suspects would come back and break in.
The loss in a big financial hit for these hard-working parents who are putting their four kids through school.
“They are very hard working people. They work 7 days a week. They’re here by 9 a.m. every morning and they don’t go home until they finish with the last customer,” said Alejandro Vasquez.
Vasquez owns Esther’s Fine Jewelry which is located next door to Fancy Nails. He says he understands what the nail salon owners are going through because his store has been robbed three times.
Vasquez installed surveillance cameras that the nail shop owners and police will now look through to try and identify the suspects.