Illinois Spa Bandit Seized

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One of the most terrifying crime sprees ever to strike day spas in the upper Midwest has finally come to an end with the capture by police in Lake Bluff, Illinois, of the Spa Bandit. Fifty-six-year-old Marshall Wolbers, who had been using the name “Scott Kendry,” was arrested at a train station, bringing a year-long drama to an end.

At least twice a month for the past year, Wolbers has visited spas in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, ordered and received extensive spa services, and then fled without paying.  Police said he has stolen several thousand dollars’ worth of services since his crimes began, striking all over the region.  Only a partial list of the Bandit’s activities is available to date, but even this record shows the actions of a sociopathic spa criminal feverishly trying to feed a deep-seated addiction to salon services, sometimes striking twice in the same day:

  • March 6, 2006, Wood House Day Spa: sea-salt body polish, Swedish massage, manicure.
  • November 7, 2006, Hair International: “He said his name was Scott and he wanted any service he could possibly get.”
  • January 4, 2007, Pure Salon & Day Spa: haircut, dye job, facial (requested but subject did not stay for service).
  • January 4, 2007, Bella Vita Salon & Day Spa: full-body scrub, facial, manicure, pedicure.
  • January 5, 2007, Bladz Spa: facial, body scrub, manicure.

Spa workers were especially miffed given the amount of work involved, since Wolbers weighs over 300 pounds. “He got a full body scrub,” said Lisa Marach, a “technician” at Bella Vita Salon & Day Spa. “He was here 3 1/2 hours.” (Pictures of the Bandit at the time depict prominent jowls, which show clear signs of exfoliation.)

Wolbers was finally captured after police released a security camera photo of the Bandit to the media and then received a number of tips as to the man’s whereabouts. Wolbers fled from a traffic stop on February 1 and was arrested two days later, apparently trying to flee by train.

The Bandit’s many victims expressed relief that he had been caught and a desire to see him pay for his crimes. Marach said she hoped to see him in court. “I just want to look at him, like, ‘You jerk, you didn’t even tip me. You made me rub your gross feet and listen to you for an hour and a half.'”  Marach did not say whether she planned to actually speak those words to Wolbers or just look at him like that.