HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico Police are investigating a string of thefts at local gyms. Several residents are out thousands of dollars after their items were stolen out of their lockers and their credit cards were used at stores nearby.
Jack Bretcher told 8news, he had just joined Crunch Fitness on Glenside Avenue two weeks ago. He stopped in Tuesday afternoon on his lunch break. Bretcher had just finished his workout and started walking towards the locker room.
“I carry my phone with me when I work out and listen to podcasts,” Bretcher said. “I look down and I see text message, text message, text message.”
Bretcher said he was receiving text messages from various credit card service companies like American Express and Citibank, inquiring about different charges.
Bretcher then returned to the locker room and noticed something was wrong.
“I know I put a lock on my locker, but there’s no lock on my locker. So then I start to panic a little bit. I open it up and I go through my pants and my money clip and my wallet are gone,” Bretcher said.
According to Bretcher, four transactions were made at the Walmart on Forest Avenue and two went through totaling more than $1,000. He said there was also a charge of over $60 at a Sheetz.
“I was shocked because I purposely got a fairly robust lock on something that somebody is going to be able to easily take off,” Bretcher said. “Everything was gone.”
Bretcher’s wife called the incident “an invasion of privacy.”
However, Bretcher wasn’t the only one with a locker that was broken into on Tuesday.
Sam Attalla said he also got texts from credit card companies within five minutes of his workout.
Attalla’s yellow lock and wallet were stolen. Multiple charges were made at the same Walmart on Forest Avenue.
A charge on Attalla’s credit card mirrored a charge on Bretcher’s. A charge of $504.94 was taken out on both of their credit cards two minutes apart.
According to Attalla, a charge of more than $200 was recorded at a CVS in Chester. The suspect also tried to use his Sam’s Club card.
Henrico Police responded to Crunch Fitness around 12:45 p.m.
Two hours earlier, officers had responded to a call at Gold’s Gym on Willow Lawn Drive.
Jaryd Moye said he had gone to the gym around 10:30 a.m. and locked up his belongings. According to Moye, he started to receive several bank fraud texts halfway through his workout.
Moye told 8news, his wallet, lock and watch were taken. His cards were also charged at Walmart and the suspect got away with $1,500.
“If businesses followed protocol this wouldn’t happen,” Moye said.
Jahleel Athey is a manager at Gold’s Gym. Athey said a man came in dressed in gym clothes Tuesday morning, paid $20 for a guest pass and entered.
The general manager at Crunch Fitness called the incident ‘very unfortunate’ and told 8news, a man similarly came in and filled out a guest pass. The gym is going to take heavy preventive measures moving forward.
Henrico Police is investigating the incidents as larceny of credit cards and is searching for a suspect. During the investigation, officers are learning that there are similar incidents that happened in North Carolina and are looking to see if there is any connection.
Henrico Police said that residents should partner with their banking institutions and make sure they’re signed up for notifications.
If you have any information, you’re asked to contact Henrico Police.