Are St Albans gyms being targeted by gang of locker thieves?
PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:24 05 August 2015
A spate of thefts from lockers at a St Albans gym has sparked calls for tougher security at its Highfield Park Drive site.
A watch was taken on July 3, while Adrian Taylor, of St Albans, had a bank card, a driving licence and a Rolex watch stolen from his locker at Nuffield Health Centre in St Albans on July 15.
Debit and credit cards were stolen from another locker on the same day while two days later more bank cards and some cash were taken.
There were no signs of forced entry, leading Adrian to suspect thieves had access to a master key.
Adrian said: “I was playing squash, came back to my locker and noticed all my stuff gone.”
The 42 year old said he then approached a manager at the centre, and said he described the idea that someone could get into the lockers as “impossible”.
Adrian said: “He just straight-up dismissed it so I called the police.”
Police told Adrian that a “gang” in the area had been targeting gyms.
Adrian has accused the gym of “sweeping the issue under the carpet” and “trying to ignore it”.
He said: “They haven’t even put signs up warning people – the signs in the changing room still say, ‘please use the lockers as we cannot accept responsibility for anything that is stolen’.
“If someone is walking around with a master key for all the lockers, then they should change all the locks. But they haven’t done anything – there aren’t any signs up.”
The normally-locked fire doors were also wide open, according to Adrian, meaning that security could be easily bypassed.
Joanna Kelly, Nuffield Health Centre manager, said: “We have been made aware of some serious incidents of theft from lockers in the building.
“It’s difficult to tell at this stage whether or not the lockers were tampered with but it’s something we’re looking into.”
Responding to Adrian’s assertion that fire doors had been left open, Joanna said: “Doors are opened and closed all the time.”
She added: “We’ve handed over CCTV footage to the police and they’re looking into it.”
A spokesperson from St Albans police said: “Investigations into these incidents are ongoing and officers are working closely with Nuffield to advise management of security measures that can be taken to prevent further incidents.
“We are exploring the possibility that the offenders have come from out of the county to commit these crimes, and that they could have visited other gyms.
“We would ask people to be aware when they visit any gym or health club to ensure they leave any items of significant value at home.
“If you see any suspicious behaviour, report it to a staff member or police immediately.”