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Locker Room Thefts Plague Planet Fitness

Eight locker thefts reported at new fitness center.

A thief has been working the men’s locker room at an Oak Lawn fitness center, cutting the locks off of lockers and stealing cell phones, wallets, jewelry and cash, according to Oak Lawn Police reports.

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Five locker thefts were reported to have taken place at Planet Fitness, 9503 S. Cicero Ave. between Jan. 19 and Jan. 24.

Planet Fitness just opened in December in the former Oak Lawn Fresh Market space.

In some cases, stolen credit and debit cards were used within minutes of their thefts at area gas stations.

  • Around 8:14 p.m. Jan. 19, a 45-year-old man said that someone broke the lock on his locker and removed a book bag containing his cell phone.
  • A 42-year-old man said he locked his personal items in the men’s locker room, which he secured with a lock. When he returned after working out around 10:28 a.m. Jan. 20, he noticed the lock had been removed and his wallet and two cell phones stolen.
  • Also at 10:28 a.m. Jan. 20, a 52-year-old club member discovered that someone had cut the lock off his locker and stole his cell phone valued at $300. According to the report, a young male black wearing a blue hoody was hanging around in the men’s locker room.
  • A 33-year-old man also reported the metal lock being cut off his locker and valuables stolen sometime between 9:45 and 11:45 a.m. Jan. 20. The man said a male black in his early 30s was hanging around the locker room and struck up a conversation with about football, which he thought was strange. The man’s debit/credit had has already been used at a Shell station on Pulaski Road before police arrived.
  • Sometime between 9:15 and 10:15 a.m. Jan. 24, the thief removed the metal lock and stole a 48-year-old man’s wallet containing his drivers’ license, FOID card and also removed the house key off his key ring. While canceling his debit card, the bank said that his card had been used to charge $44.86 at an Oak Lawn gas station. Another member also reported his locker According to report, another member reported his locker being broken into the same time period.

Patch readers also reported at least three more thefts taking place at Planet Fitness on Wednesday morning, including a member who said his wife’s purse was ripped off. Within hours of being stolen his wife’s debit card had been used at Shell station on the city’s North Side.

The thief, seen on surveillance video, reportedly went into the women's locker room after hitting the men's.

“She went up to the counter to report it and one by one two other men came to report their wallets,” the member said, who lives in Oak Lawn. “They need to fix the security. It’s a dumpy strip mill as it is. Don’t lock your purse up in a locker.”

A Planet Fitness employee declined to comment except to say that the fitness center is cooperating with Oak Lawn police.

“We’ve turned over all our surveillance video,” the employee said. “It’s happening all over because of the influx of starter fees going doing down. Everyone joins up and there are more people in the gym.”

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dave bird January 31, 2013 at 01:46 PM
chucke- cheese, hooters,red lobster,jewel-osco,arena bowl,and now planet fitness
George Pickett January 31, 2013 at 03:32 PM
How about setting a trap for the crook? Put a lock on a couple of lockers with a device similar to what banks us for robberies that weill explode and leave a purple dye all over the fool!!
George Pickett January 31, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Are we safe ANYPLACE in Oak lawn????
Pat F January 31, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Arena Bowl is pretty nice again..And SAFE!!
J January 31, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Funny how one of the other articles in this edition of Patch is on crimes in Oak Lawn. How crime rates go up & down but remain somewhat steady. Yeah, no increase in crime at all. (Where is that eye rolling icon when you need it)
Terry V January 31, 2013 at 06:56 PM
George, there has always been crime. Back in the 1970's lockers were broken in to at the Bally's Health Club. I would guess no matter where you live, crime happens.
Dave W. January 31, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Never been to this place, but both of the Blast Fitnesses in the area have had similar problems. My friend had a top membership and invited me a handful of times. Out of five(ish) times I've gone, four of those times, in Burbank and Bridgeview, there were problems. It is a staff/security issue. You can't have cameras IN the lockerrooms, so when they clear out, people with ill-intent have pretty free reign. Frequent checks by a person employeed by the clubs is all that will stop this. This happened to another friend of mine in the girls lockerroom at a place in Orland too...the lockers are easy targets...Oak Lawn isn't being targeted, but we aren't exempt either...
OakLawnGuy January 31, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Planet Fitness really has no security. You can walk in, shout your membership number and proceed. They have photos of each member, but do not check them consistently.
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 08:07 PM
You are plenty safe in Oak Lawn.
Glen Kato January 31, 2013 at 09:13 PM
ALL fitness places have theft problems. I never put anything in the locker that is too valuable. I work out with my wallet in my pocket or I just leave it at home.
Dm January 31, 2013 at 10:02 PM
What did you expect for what, 10 bucks a month membership??? Cheap=getto.
Mike January 31, 2013 at 10:03 PM
I was wondering about this place - haven't went in there since the change. How is it on a Friday/Saturday night?
Borninol January 31, 2013 at 10:30 PM
This place was built by non union construction workers. Give it time people, I'm sure it will fall or burn down on its own!
Ann Last January 31, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Yup.
OL Res February 01, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I was a victim of one of the thefts and the thing that got me is the Planet Fitness NEVER APOLOGIZED
TheUnOwen February 04, 2013 at 10:14 PM
And why exactly can people not workout with their phones and wallet in their pocket?! I hate to say it but stupid people deserve what they get. Keep your valuables on you at all times or leave them at home!
OakLawnGuy February 07, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Calling people who had the locks removed from the lockers and their valuables stolen "stupid" is very undeserved. If the wallets and handbag had been left in unsecured lockers or on a bench in locker room, then stupid would apply. Assuming that your valuables are protected by putting a pad lock on a locker is anything but "stupid".
TheUnOwen February 07, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Well Oak Lawn Guy, you would think after the 8th or 9th robbery people would be catching on and not bringing any valuables and leaving them knowing there is a thief, who despite the OLPD's 'best' efforts, has still not been caught. You have any idea how easily locks can be broken/picked now adays?! stand by what I said

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