Gunman robs Town Center tanning salon

Glisten tanning salon, formerly Planet Beach, was robbed last Wednesday afternoon when an assailant held a gun to the teenage cashier and demanded that she empty the till.

The incident took place at approximately 3:30 p.m. on July 29. A man who Mercer Island police have described as being six feet tall, 200 pounds, white and in his mid-20s, entered the salon pretending to be a customer.

The cashier, a 16-year-old Mercer Island High School student who declined to give her name, began helping the man as she would any other visitor. After a short time, the man presented a gun and demanded that the girl hand over all the money in the till. The teenager did as she was told, after which the assailant took the cash and fled the store on foot heading west, according to Mercer Island Police Detective Pete Erickson, who is investigating the case. The girl then dialed 911.

Only two people were in Glisten when the robbery occurred. A second employee, a female off-Islander in her 20s, was in the bathroom when the assailant entered. The employee came out seconds after the robbery took place, she said, and only learned the details from her co-worker. Neither girl was injured during the incident, although both were emotionally rattled, according to the off-Island employee.

“[My co-worker] was mostly just angry when it happened,” she said. “It’s just weird. Especially because this guy has been robbing other tanning salons, like Desert Sun in Factoria. He poses as a customer, asks for a tour and then robs the place.”

Asked about the assailant’s record, Erickson said that he is wanted in several Eastside jurisdictions for a string of robberies; most of which have targeted tanning salons.

Glisten owner Jack McCracken expressed gratitude that nobody was harmed during the robbery.

“I’m a lifetime Island resident and find it alarming that this would happen here. We’re thankful nobody was hurt,” he said.

Glisten is located at 7858 S.E. 28th Street, across from the North-end QFC. The salon was formerly named Planet Beach, until July 1, when it changed ownership.

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