MILL CREEK, Wash. - The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help finding a man they believe is responsible for as many as 17 robberies of tanning salons in the Snohomish and King County area.
Detectives believe he began his crime spree on July 18 when he robbed a tanning salon in the city of Mill Creek.
On July 22, he robbed a tanning salon in the 17400 block of Highway 9 in the unincorporated Snohomish area. In this robbery, the man walked into the business, robbed the employee at gunpoint and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Kim DeGroot, owner of Chez Soleil in Marysville, says police came to her business Tuesday to warn her about the robber. The very next day the suspect showed up at her store.
"I'm shocked he's only hitting tanning salons and surprised he's gotten away with it this long," said DeGroot.
Her 19-year-old sales attendant was the only employee in the tanning salon, when this suspect walked in Wednesday morning.
"He was a young guy coming tanning on a 100-degree day, it made me a little weary, cautious," she told KING 5.
He asked to see the different tanning beds. She now believes he was checking to see if anyone else was in the salon. When they walked back to the front of the store, he pulled out a gun.
"He told me to give him the money. He said it very calmly, he didn't swear wasn't rude or anything," says the employee.
Another employee at A Thai Tan near Snohomish says same thing happened a week ago at their tanning salon.
"He put his backpack on the counter pulled out a black handgun pointed it at me. Of course, he stole all our cell phones and ripped the phone out of the wall."
The suspect is described as a white male in his early twenties, 6 feet tall and weighing 200 to 225 pounds with a small pot belly. He has short light brown hair (but has possibly bleached it blond recently as a disguise), and blue eyes. He also is described as having a pale, round pudgy face and acne.
Anyone with information about the suspect or the robbery is asked to call the Sheriff's Office tip line at 425-388-3845.