Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wig Thief Escapes by a Hair: Later Netted

After escaping capture by a hair last week, the wig thief who has terrorized downtown Broken Springs has finally been netted. The arrest was made after the suspect was spotted sweeping up hair clippings from a local hair salon. Samuel Kevin Browning was apprehended on charges of hair theft, destruction of personal property, and fleeing and eluding a police officer. If convicted of these violations, Browning could face up to five years in a federal penitentiary and many more years of psychological counseling to cope with his inevitable public ridicule.

“I’m so relieved that menace is off the streets,” said 87-year-old Claire Thompson, clutching desperately at her curly brown locks. “My girlfriends and I were scared to go out at night.”

Browning’s reign of terror, dubbed locally as the ‘Hair Scare’ began earlier this month when Browning, a former Cub Scout and avid Chia Pet collector, began robbing unsuspecting older women of their wigs in random Broken Springs restaurants.

“I was having a quiet dinner with my husband,” recalls 73-year-old Deborah Searing, “when I excused myself to the ladies room to tinkle. As I sat there attending to my lady business, a masked man leaned over the door and swiped at my face. I managed to jump out of his reach but my wig fell off my head and into the stool,” she told us, too embarrassed to tell us what happened next.

Officer Daniel Shame continues the story of the suspect‘s escape. “The elusive wig didn’t dispel the assailant from reaching into the commode to retrieve the stolen goods. At that time he fled the scene, splashing a trail of toilet water down the hall and into the parking lot. After several minutes of lapping up evidence from the toilet, our K9 unit tracked the suspect out of the restroom and past several fire hydrants. But the track eventually dried up, leading us to a dead end.”

“Wouldn’t that be more of a split end, Officer?” we interjected.

“Yes, the case was a real head scratcher for awhile But Browning was caught by the hair of the dog that bit him. He couldn’t keep well enough away of the city’s hot spots where we had round the clock surveillance on every wig in Broken Springs, and we finally combed the rat out. That‘s the last time he‘ll be tangling with Broken Springs police.”

In all, the Wig Thief victimized six people, only four of whom have recovered their hair unharmed. One of those hairpieces, strategically placed on a snowman outside of Dollar General, belonged to feisty octogenarian Velma Collins, who made this statement to the press: “They should lock the bastard up and throw away the key,” while expressing further comments with distinctive hand gestures not fit for description.

Three more victimized wigs were found in Browning’s home, two lining Browning’s kitty litter boxes and the other cleverly used as a bag for his bowling ball. “I’m so happy to have my hair back,” said 98-year-old Sophie Harper while dusting Tidy Cat out of her wig, “I hope they put that animal behind bars where he belongs.”

Evidence shows that Browning also used individual pieces of hair from the wigs as dental floss and authorities even found what they believe are Martha Hooper’s long silver hairs strung through Browning’s fishing pole.

Asked to explain his behavior, the bald as a cue ball 32-year-old Browning said, “I wanted to be a barber but my parents insisted I attend law school instead. Hair has so many under appreciated practical uses but unfortunately I can‘t grow any of my own. Once I learned that hair could be had for free by sweeping up the hair salons and barbershops, I realized that stealing wigs was a real hair brained idea. But the damage has already been done.”

Browning will be defending himself at his upcoming trial. Sources tell us he plans to plead not guilty by reasons of temporary insanity.

“Sanity… it comes and goes,” he quips with a smile. “Hair today, gone tomorrow.”

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