A tanning salon in San Francisco's Balboa Terrace neighborhood was robbed by a man wearing a ski mask on Wednesday night, police and a salon employee said today.
The robbery was reported at about 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Electric Beach Tanning Salon at 2377 Ocean Ave.
An employee at the tanning salon who did not want to give her name said she was closing the business for the day when a man came in and pointed something at her – she wasn't sure if it was a gun – and demanded cash from the register.
The man took cash from the register and said, “Give me more money,” and went through the employee's purse, she said.
She didn't have any cash in her purse, but the man took all of the coins out of her wallet, as well as cartons of nickels and dimes from the register, she said.
The man asked about a safe in the business, and although the employee lied and said the company didn't have one, he ordered her to a part of the store where the safe was, she said.
He ordered her to open it but she didn't have the key, so he picked it up and slowly carried the heavy safe out the front of the store, the employee said.
As he was walking out the front, the employee said she ran out a back door and called police.
By the time officers responded, the man was gone. He had not been found as of this afternoon, police said.
The suspect was described as a black man between 25 and 30 years old who is about 6 feet tall with a medium skin tone. Besides the ski mask, he was also wearing a black zip-up jacket and black pants, the employee said.
She said she thinks he may have been working with another man who came into the store earlier in the day and asked for a tour of the business because he was interested in buying a package of tanning visits.
The employee said she thought the request was bizarre because the man was Hispanic “and obviously didn't need to tan,” and he was asking about every room in the business.
“I think he was casing the place,” she said.
She said although the tanning salon has been the victim of an overnight burglary once, she was not aware of it ever being the target of a robbery.
Anyone with information about the robbery is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.