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.
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.”