HARLEM—Police are warning gym goers along the 125th Street corridor to beware of thieves who are breaking into lockers.
Electronics, money and jewelry have all been stolen from the the gyms along 125th Street, according to an alert issued by the 28th Precinct.
"Avoid bringing high value items such as currency, credit/debit cards, watches, jewelry, laptops and cell phones to the health club," the notice said.
"Remember, gym lockers are not intended to secure high value items," the memo continued.
The alert advises gym members to use a high-quality lock, avoid leaving valuable items unattended and to use high security lockers which are monitored to prevent theft.
According to crime statistics, grand larcenies in the 28th precinct have increased 31 percent with 180 incidents so far this year compared to 137 at this time last year. Petit larceny is also up 16 percent compared to this time last year with 469 incidents compared to 430.
"It's great everyone is getting fit but we want people to be safe and fit," said Barbara Askins, president and CEO of the 125th Street Business Improvement District. "When we see these trends we try to bring it to people's attention."
There are at least four gyms from Broadway to Lenox Avenue on 125th Street including Lucille Roberts, Planet Fitness and New York Sports Club.
Planet Fitness recently opened a second branch on 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard due to the popularity of their location nearer to Lenox Avenue.
"Police can do their part to stop the thefts but it's up to the public to be more aware so we can do our part," Askins said.
Gym-goers on 125th Street said they already took steps to protect themselves.
Robin Watson, 50, a quality control officer, said she had heard about a few locker thefts involving cell phones at the Planet Fitness on Lenox Avenue between 125th and 126th streets. Management also sent a warning about the thefts at the 24 hour gym, she said.
As a precaution, Watson secures her possessions in a locker that she can monitor while exercising.
"I try to bring the bare basics to the gym," said Watson. "But that may be difficult for someone coming here straight from work."
Angella Anderson, 51, a substance abuse counselor who has been a Lenox Avenue Planet Fitness member for two years, said she uses lockers closer to the front desk and doesn't bring anything to the gym that she "can't afford to lose."
"It's so convienient having this gym here," she said. "It's horrible that the things you work hard to provide for yourself someone else just thinks they can take."