SOUTH MIAMI(CBS4) - South Miami Police have a warning for business owners about an alarming trend: the theft of expensive laser hair removal machines from spas and salons.
"It is getting worse and worse. These laser machines are not cheap. This is a very big pain for us owners," said one victim, Daniel Maderal, in an exclusive interview with CBS4's Peter D'Oench.
South Miami Police released new surveillance tape from January 27th showing three men with hoods on a mission after smashing through the front door of Maderal's business, Spyros Laser Medspa at 5790 Bird Road.
The three suspects are seen leaving with a $68,000 Candela laser hair removal machine.
Maderal was insured for the theft but lost a week of business.
"It's very upsetting to work very hard for several months on my business and all of a sudden everything is going right and then one night they take away our laser machine and it is back to square one and you have to reschedule people and start from scratch again," said Maderal.
"These machines can go anywhere from $40,000 to $120,000 or $130,000," said South Miami Police Chief Rene Landa. "Our detectives have identified 11 businesses in Miami-Dade and Broward that have been hit with losing these machines as well as lap tops. What's important is for us to recover these machines. They are stolen. They are registered."
"We need to follow a lot of leads," Landa told D'Oench. "This is an open investigation and it will remain so until we recover all of these machines."
Landa and his detectives are making progress.
He said early Sunday morning, detectives arrested 25-year-old Kelsey Williams of Miami Gardens. Landa said he was one of the three men seen on the surveillance tape from Maderal's spa. He said Williams has been arrested before on burglary charges.
Williams appeared in bond court on Monday on charges of burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief. His total bond for those three cases was set at $13,500. But he was held without bond because of a previous case. Williams told the Judge he had the money to hire an attorney.
"I'm very alarmed by all the thefts," said Maderal. "But I am glad that South Miami Police have made an arrest in this difficult case."
Landa also released a photo of the F-150 truck that the three men were in.
"The other subject that Williams was with owns the truck," said Landa. "That subject used to work with some of the spas and fixed their machines. So here's a guy that come in and does work on the machines. He fixes the laser machines. He knows how to work with them and knows how much they are and then comes back at a later time."
Landa said work by his detectives has paid off.
He took CBS4 inside his property and evidence room and showed two laser hair removal machines that were recovered from thefts in Indian River and Fort Lauderdale. Landa said detectives from those cities would be coming to South Miami to recover those machines.
Landa said there have been similar thefts in Coral Gables, Aventura, Hialeah, Stuart, Indian River and throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
Landa and Maderal both hope someone will recognize the two suspects in the surveillance video who have not been arrested.
Maderal has an alarm system but said the thieves were in and out of his store in three minutes.
"Turn them in if they know they are," said Maderal. "If they know who they are, if they recognize them or any markings on them, if they have any suspicions at all, they should call the police and let them know."
Landa said anyone who can help should call South Miami Police Detective King at (305) 663-6304 or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).
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