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Rash of Locker Room Thefts Plagues UWS Gyms, Police Say

By Emily Frost | January 22, 2014 2:45pm
 Several lockers at local gyms have been broken into in the past week and a half. 
Several lockers at local gyms have been broken into in the past week and a half. 
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Flickr/Dan Machold

UPPER WEST SIDE — Thieves are targeting fitness buffs at local gyms by breaking into their lockers and stealing everything from expensive watches to cash and credit cards, police said.

Several people exercising at Equinox on Amsterdam Avenue at West 74th Street and New York Sports Club on Broadway at West 80th Street had their lockers busted into over the past week and a half, 20th Precinct police reported.

Security cameras are not allowed in locker rooms, making it easy for thieves to break locks and snag goods, police noted.

At Equinox, a man reported that the combination lock on his locker, as well as the one next to it, had been removed on Jan. 16 at 4:30 p.m., police said. The man said his TAG Heuer watch and wallet, which contained credit cards and cash, had been stolen, according to the police report.

"We were made aware of the incident and reached out to the NYPD immediately," an Equinox spokeswoman said. "We are currently working with them on their investigation and are taking steps to ensure that this individual is brought to justice."

At New York Sports Club, a woman reported her locker was burglarized the same way on Jan. 10 about 10 p.m., police said. Her combination lock was removed and her wallet and the credit cards inside were stolen, police said. 

A spokeswoman for the gym said it works closely with the police to "keep the clubs secure" and that the club "has installed security lockers in the lobby and/or highly trafficked areas of the club so that members may store small valuables (i.e. cash, watches, jewelry, small electronics etc.)."

Other notable crimes in the 20th Precinct include:

  • Police tracked down a man who slapped his 20-year-old girlfriend and stole her iPhone by using an app on the device to track down the violent thief's location. The man, 23, stole the phone at 2 a.m. on West 81st Street and Central Park West, police said. They were able to locate the perpetrator, whose identity they did not share, in The Bronx by 3 a.m. 
  • The owner of a 1997 Dodge Caravan reported it stolen from West 84th Street and Columbus Avenue on Jan. 12 after leaving it there for two days, police said. "That's our hot car," an officer at the 20th Precinct said of the model, as well as other minivans, which are known for being used by criminals to steal motorcycles by pulling up next to the bikes and loading them into the vehicle, he said. 
  •  A woman briefly left her wallet unattended on a table at Starbucks on Broadway at West 63rd Street and found it gone when she returned to the table on Jan. 18 at 4:30 p.m., police said. Starbucks did not respond to request for comment.