Authorities are increasing patrols near the Oro Valley LA Fitness following a number of reported thefts, according to Lt. Kara Riley, public information officer for the Oro Valley Police Department (OVPD).
In addition to past locker break-ins, a recent vehicular theft has police seeking public assistance in locating a female suspect, identified as a 40-year-old Hispanic female with dark hair, 5’ - 5’3” tall, weighing approximately 180 pounds.
The investigation began on Nov. 16 when a member of the gym reported her purse had been stolen after someone shattered her car’s passenger window.
Several of her credit cards were used shortly after at a local store, from which the OVPD Criminal Investigations Unit collected surveillance footage.
Initially, a Hispanic male was thought to have been involved, but he has since been eliminated as a suspect.
The most recent case follows a series of locker break-ins that happened in September, according to OVPD Detective Derren Jackson.
The fact that both vehicles and lockers are being broken into may leave gym-goers feeling like they have nowhere to place their belongings while working out.
Riley said while one option isn’t necessarily better than the other, there are precautions that people can take to reduce the likelihood of theft.
“The main thing with car break- ins is not to leave anything in plain sight – your phone, an iPod, a purse – anything that might be welcoming a thief to break in,” said Riley, who adds the trunk is usually the best place to store personal belongings if leaving them in a car.
If storing items in a locker, it is important to bring your own lock because LA Fitness does not provide locks, and to not simply shut the locker door.
Because gym guests are required to sign or scan in upon arrival, an additional level of security is added for those using lockers, Riley added.
“That helps serve as a sort of tracking system if there is an incident,” said Riley. “We are working with LA Fitness, trying to make sure we are providing the best patrol possible,” said Riley. “Usually when you have a crime like this, it is the same people over and over, and once we find those people, the crime will stop.”
OVPD is asking anyone with information related to either case to call 229-4900, 911, or 88-crime.