Bandits

As this issue was going to press, all of the major news outlets were covering the arrest of two 19-year-old girls that the media had nicknamed the Barbie Bandits. Ashley Miller and Heather Johnston, described by friends as "all-American kids," were nabbed by Cobb County police in connection with a robbery they pulled off wearing designer shades and tight jeans. The two were caught on a surveillance camera smiling as they left an Acworth, GA, Bank of America about 30 miles outside of Atlanta. Apparently, they took those Bank of Opportunity ads Bank of America has been running on TV to heart, presenting the teller with a note asking for money and actually getting it.

Brett Vinovich
Brett Vinovich

Now here's where the story gets interesting to us. Apparently "Thelma and Louise" decided to have makeovers at the upscale Carter Barnes salon in Atlanta where they paid with a large "wad of cash" and left $50 cash tips, according to salon Manager Melissa Methier. Stylists thought the two looked familiar. The salon's computer records and surveillance cameras confirmed their identities for the police. "They were as ditzy as the day is long," said Methier.

The Barbie Bandits in trademark shades caught on surveillance tape.
The Barbie Bandits in trademark shades caught on surveillance tape.

Heather Johnston's mug shot
Heather Johnston's mug shot

Interestingly enough, we ran an item called "Subscription Swindler Apprehended" in our January 1928 issue involving another kind of crook who was brought to justice by two quick-witted salon professionals. Mrs. Etta Metzke, a beauty shop owner in Milwaukee, WI, and Miss Gertrude DeMarth, manager of the Milwaukee School of Beauty Culture, split a $100 award that we had offered for his apprehension. Robert L. Brighton, alias Hugo Dunmeyer (criminals had aliases then; today they have nicknames) had collected funds for more than 200 subscriptions, then he pocketed the money without letting us know that the subscriptions had been secured. We learned what was happening when we began receiving complaints from defrauded shop owners. Brighton served 90 days in the House of Corrections (don't you just love that?).

Ashley Miller's mug shot
Ashley Miller's mug shot

Mug shot of subscription-swindler Robert L. Brighton, alias Hugo Dunmeyer.
Mug shot of subscription-swindler Robert L. Brighton, alias Hugo Dunmeyer.

"The American Hairdresser will spare neither effort nor money in bringing to justice solicitors who take subscriptions without authority," we wrote at the time. So is this how we ended up with controlled circulation? —Brett Vinovich, publisher, [email protected]

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