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Police search for repeat gym thief

By Tony Thomas

Updated: 4:35 a.m. EDT, Mon April 21, 2014


Several metro police departments are comparing notes and trying to track down a man they say is preying on people working out in fitness gyms.

Investigators believe the large man has struck in at least four metro cities and wears the same exact clothes and hat each time.

"Given the fact the guy is 6 foot 3 and well over 300 pounds, dressed like this, I think he would stick out,” said Duluth Police Investigator Bobby Johnson.

Investigators say the man has stolen wallets in Duluth, Buford, McDonough and Peachtree City.

In the Duluth case, Johnson says the victim actually saw the unidentified man in the locker room when he arrived. After the victim worked out, he says his lock was missing and his valuables stolen.

"The victim stated that he returned to locker at 2:15. At 2:09 his card was already being used,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the credit cards were used at a Best Buy and Target store. The man usually buys electronics and gift cards.

Peachtree City police say the man struck at the World Gym on April 9, stealing items from two victims. Surveillance video then shows the man buying items at a store in Newnan. Police say he bought more than $2,800 worth of items.

"We estimate at least $12, 000 that we know of," Johnson said.

The crimes were committed between April 9-14. Video's show the man wearing the same brightly colored and patterned shirt as well and the same hat.

Police are asking gym members across Metro Atlanta to be on the lookout and to take care of their wallets and other valuables.

Channel 2’s Tony Thomas asked one gym member, "Do you ever worry about them stealing your stuff?”

"Nah, I don’t take no stuff into the store," replied Stephen Pitts.

Member Tony Stewart said he thought he recognized the man in surveillance pictures from around the Duluth LA Fitness gym.

"I got a membership there. They stole a lot of wallets in there and phones and keys," Stewart said.

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