Suspect sought in LA Fitness theft

ENCINITAS — The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help to find a person who stole a wallet from a car in the parking lot of an LA Fitness and went on a $1,000 spending spree with the victim’s credit cards.

The incident occurred Oct. 26 between 7:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., when the unknown suspect stole a backpack from the victim’s locker inside of the gym, and then used a key from the backpack to open the victim’s car, stealing his wallet.

The suspect then took the victim’s credit cards from the wallet and used them at several businesses in La Jolla and San Diego’s Midway district. The purchases totaled more than $1,000.

According to a Sheriff’s Department news release, the suspect is described as a white man in his 40s, wearing a white baseball cap, light blue polo shirt, gray jeans, black Nike tennis shoes and a light browned colored jacket. He was seen getting out of a newer model, four-door white Infiniti sedan one of the times he used the victim’s credit cards.

Sheriff’s Capt. John Maryon said the incident should serve as a reminder to people who frequent the gym to secure their belongings by locking their lockers and locking their vehicles.

Since the incident, Maryon said, a person reported thieves stealing items from their unlocked vehicle in the same parking lot.

“Criminals know people tend to leave their belongings in their vehicles when they go to the gym, so they need to be sure to lock their cars, hide any valuables or just don’t bring any valuables with them,” Maryon said. “This is not just at the gyms, but also applies to shoppers or anyone who leaves their vehicles unattended especially during the holiday season.

“I’m not trying to scare people, but I want to make them aware of what is going on around them,” Maryon said. “They need to be aware of their surroundings even in these safe and wonderful cities.”

Sheriff’s officials encourage anyone who might recognize the suspect or have information about the incident to call the North Coastal Sheriff’s Station at (760) 966-3500 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case.

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