Thieves Target Madison Area Health Clubs


Thieves are now targeting health clubs. Madison Police say there has been a string of thefts in the area.

Some people have loss up to $10,000.

Many people, who go to the gym, decide to lock up their things and come back and everything is gone.

"A lot of people don't lock their things, cause I know I will look and I see maybe two or three locks on a locker but if I open a locker there's things inside," says Rebecca Peterson, Princeton Club member.

Even if people are locking their belongings a group of thieves are managing to steal from lockers anyway. Police say it's happening throughout Southern Wisconsin, two women working with teenagers stealing from local gyms.

“The ones that I know of its Princeton East and West but there is information that it is happening in Milwaukee," says Mike Hanson with the Madison Police Department.

Police believe they are connected, each time the suspects distract the front clerk so others can slip by, go into the locker room, use bolt cutters to break locks, and steal purses, wallets, cell phones and credit cards.

One gym member says, “I bring my wallet which contains my identification and credit cards and some money."

Police are asking residents to only bring in what they need and say keep your car keys on you.

The suspects steal the keys, then head out to the parking lot, and use the remote access to find the vehicle.

The suspects have also called the health club pretending to be bank employees, talk with their victims, and then ask for their ATM number.

“The financial investigators in this health club can not for any reason think of any scenario where a bank would call a customer and ask for personal identification number," Hanson said.

Now police are working with health clubs to get the word out and some members are already listening.

“I only bring my gym clothes, headphones and a lock."

Police say about a dozen people are involved in the thefts.

Police are working with local health clubs to prevent this from happening.


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