Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hair-Raising Experience For Woman On Bus

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - In a new twist in Rio de Janeiro's crime annals, scissor-wielding thieves clipped off the long, flowing locks of a 22-year-old Brazilian woman as she rode in a city bus.

"We got on at the same stop and they sat behind me," sales assistant Mirna Marchetti said. "Then all of a sudden I felt someone pulling my hair. My friend tried to help me but they just cut it off, right at the base."

The thieves also stole her handbag and her mobile phone before escaping.

Marchetti's hair was dark, straight and reached down to her waist. She said she had not cut it for four years. Police suspect the thieves hope to sell the hair to a hairdresser.

Beauty salons in Rio can charge more than 500 reais ($250) for top-quality hair extensions, salon owner Rosangela Castro said.

Muggers in crime-plagued Rio de Janeiro often target bus passengers, sometimes robbing a whole bus at gun point.

"This is a new kind of crime,' said a police officer at the station where the report was filed. "They really did mean to steal her hair.

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