Thieves target local gyms and parks in car break ins

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Multiple car break-ins were reported Monday across Central Virginia and now law enforcement is investigating to see if they were all related. Car windows were smashed and purses were taken from the vehicles.

At least five gyms and two parks where targeted:

  • Atlee Station YMCA at 8017 Rutland Center Blvd, Mechanicsville
  • Mechanicsville Golds Gym at 7368 Bell Creek Road, Mechanicsville
  • Patrick Henry YMCA at 217 Ashcake Road, Ashland
  • Shady Grove YMCA at 11255 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen
  • West End Crunch Fitness at 10470 Ridgefield Parkway, Henrico
  • Short Pump Park at 3229 Pump Road, Henrico
  • Twin Hickory Park at 5011 Twin Hickory Road, Glen Allen

8News spoke to one victim who said what shocked her the most is how safe she considers the area to be.

“The fact that someone would come in the middle of the day and bust your window to get your purse was quite a shocker,” Danielle King said. “I was in shock for a little bit.”

Danielle King is a manager at Crunch Fitness in Henrico County. It was on Monday when she left work that she realized her car had been vandalized.

“I can think of a million places that I have left my purse that is more dangerous than the middle of a parking lot in the West End,” King said. “It’s definitely an eye-opener.”

King was just one of many victims across Central Virginia who was targeted by thieves.

Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said this is a good reminder to bring your valuables with you wherever you go.

“Never leave anything in plain sight in your vehicle even if it’s locked,” said Sgt. James Cooper. “These past four instances have proved that even in locked vehicles if a valuable is in plain sight, they can still be victimized.”

Sgt. Cooper said at gyms you should take advantage of the locker rooms.

“Every gym has locker rooms and they have lockers in there and you can stow your belongings in there,” Sgt. Cooper said. “Just make sure you are putting a lock on there as well.”

As for King, she said she is going to warn her members and be extra careful even in the areas she feels the safest.

“No place is safe apparently regardless of where you are,” King said. “Whether it is a store, a gym, a park, anything I think you should always keep your belongings out of sight or on you at all times.”

The YMCA released this statement about the crimes:

“The YMCA is committed to ensuring the safety of our members and their personal belongings. We encourage and remind members at all branch locations to secure valuables inside lockers made available in the facility, as well as lock vehicle doors to minimize the risk of theft. The Y is working with law enforcement to increase patrols at all locations to help ensure the safety and protection of everyone. “

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact Henrico Police, Ashland Police or Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

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