Despite the store being open, walk up to Hair Cuttery in Village Crossing and expect the doors to be locked.
It's a security precaution the employees have taken since the hair salon bandit has robbed three area salons - two in Skokie, one in Niles - in two weeks.
"We started locking our doors on Monday," said Hair Cuttery stylist Dyana Kheyo, 22. "We're terrified. Our customers are terrified. They know what's been going on. It's been all over the news."
While the door was locked, both employees opened it with a smile after realizing this reporter wasn't there to rob them.
"It's just a precaution," said stylist Molly Kobylt, 24. "We know he uses a gun. We know he's robbed eight salons already. Yeah, he hasn't been violent, but who's to say that when he gets caught that he won't decide to bring one of us down with him? It's scary."
On Monday, Niles police released a statement saying they responded to an armed robbery at a hair salon in the 8300 block of Golf Road. In that instance, the offender entered the store and displayed a handgun. He then demanded money from the cash register, according to police. The worker placed an undetermined amount of cash into the suspect's backpack.
The employee was not hurt, and neither were two other employees who remained in the rear of the store.
A few days prior to that, the bandit robbed two hair salons in Skokie. In the second case, the suspect entered a store with just one employee working and made off with more than $340, according to police.
"No doubt about it - this guy is very bold," said officer Joe Marzigliano. "He's hitting a few suburbs. It's not just Skokie and Niles."
So far, the offender is suspected to have robbed hair salons in Skokie, Niles, Bensenville, Lombard, Glen Ellyn, Morton Grove and Chicago.
What we know so far -
The suspect typically strikes hair salons that are located within strip malls around lunch time or just before close, police said. He's described as a white male, about 6-feet-tall, 200 to 230-pounds and being anywhere from 35 to 45-years-of-age, police said.
When Patch asked Marzigliano on why he's targeting hair salons he responded, "Typically, I'd say it's because it's a cash business and they usually have a decent size of cash on hand," he said. "[The suspect] may also see it as a way to get in and get out fairly quickly as there's usually only one or two employees working.
"We're putting flyers, pictures and information out there," Marzigliano added. "We're hoping someone recognizes him and calls 911. We also want people to be proactive."
One Morton Grove hair salon employee did just that late last week. The woman saw a man enter her store who she believed matched the description of the hair salon bandit. That person called police but it was later realized the man was not the offender.
"If people see someone suspicious, they should contact their local police department," Marzigliano said. "There's no shame in calling the police. That's what we're here for."