DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

Illinois Follicle Freak Locked Up

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Illinois Follicle Freak Locked Up

Meet Melvin G. Hanks. He's got a thing for ponytails. Especially the kind meant for sick kids.

Hanks, 54, was arrested February 14 and charged with stealing 93 ponytails (and enough loose hair to make about 60 more).

How does one actually steal 93 ponytails? Well, according to Belleville, Illinois cops, Hanks called up local salons and falsely claimed to represent Locks of Love, a Florida-based charity that uses donated hair to "create the highest quality hair prosthetics" for children who "have lost their hair due to a medical condition."

Police found the purloined ponytails stashed in Hanks's bedroom closet (he shares a crib with his 80-year-old father).

One salon employee told police that Hanks, now jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail, checked in "weekly to see if they have any hair." (4 pages)