WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Locker-room theft victim chases thief

Out of the WSB inbox, from Andrew:

I had just returned to the locker room from a post-workout shower at LA Fitness at about 7:30 am to discover that someone had cut the lock off of my locker and stolen my wallet and bus pass. I’ve been exercising there every morning before work for over two years, so I recognize most of the regulars.

I’d seen a unfamiliar man there this morning, so I confronted him then contacted the gym’s staff. When the staff asked that he empty his pockets, he had my credit card and about $50 in cash from my wallet on him.

He bolted out of the front door, and I gave chase while the staff called the police. I then took photos of him while he was getting away. He took off on a bicycle heading east on SW Alaska Street. I did not escalate the situation because I didn’t know if he had a knife or some other weapon.

Fortunately, he must’ve ditched my wallet and bus pass at some point during the confrontation, because the gym staff found and returned both, minus the cash, which he must’ve shoved back into his pockets. He was not a member of the gym and apparently snuck in somehow. I’ve been working out with no problems at LA Fitness since they opened their West Seattle location, and I’m somewhat shaken by the brazenness of this encounter. However, I will return, since something like this could happen almost anywhere.

I gave my statement and emailed the photos to the police, and they provided me with Incident # 17-404018.

Andrew added more description in a followup note: White man, late 30s, medium build, about 5’10”.

11 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Locker-room theft victim chases thief"

  • Lisa R. October 31, 2017 (3:50 pm)

    I belong to LA Fitness and appreciate the heads up. I find this pretty shocking!

  • Chuck October 31, 2017 (3:59 pm)

    Way to go Andrew! I’m gratified that you took action, without taking it too far and putting yourself in jeopardy. It sounds like he must have still had bolt cutters on him if not left at the scene? You could have been really hurt if he used those as a weapon. And tho no mention of bolt cutters in the story, I can’t imagine he used a hacksaw… You are much more kind to the gym than I would be–I’m sorry, but letting a non-member inside is on THEM, and I don’t think they should be let off the hook so easily. Same goes for their ongoing parking garage thefts, from what I’ve read. But yes, great job in making this POS think twice before he victimizes someone else. Someone less civil than you is going to kick his arse one day soon.

    • WSB October 31, 2017 (4:04 pm)

      I actually have a couple followups out to Andrew but thought that it was better to get this out sooner than later, in the meantime.

  • supernova72 October 31, 2017 (4:29 pm)

    I belong to another local gym and was considering switching to LA.  Security and parking have concerned me there.  How in the world can some cut a lock off and no one notice?  

    Glad you got your stuff back.  Our little town has changed.  Where I go there are a lot of motorhomes so do speak across the street.  It’s close to a big steel plant.  Being a bit vague on purpose.  We had a lot of car windows smashed in over the Holidays.

  • Al October 31, 2017 (4:58 pm)

    This has happen at the ymca.  Its very easy for some one to get by there front desk.  Get after LA about this.  

  • Brian October 31, 2017 (5:03 pm)

    Thanks WSB. I was wondering what that police activity was about this morning.

    I’m curious where our crime stats are at. Last time I looked at SPD’s interactive tracking system, The Junction had the greatest number of crimes out of all beats in WS.

    Why is theft/property crime so prolific here? Do we not have enough officers? Do we not prosecute? I don’t get it.

  • M October 31, 2017 (6:02 pm)

    I attend the same gym….West Seattle Health club and I am angered that the police have not ticketed those RVs that have been there for weeks.

    • sam-c November 1, 2017 (9:28 am)

      I did see police stand by to coordinate towing of one of those RVs recently.  The others ones seem to have a free pass to stick around

    • McGruff November 4, 2017 (3:49 pm)

      The lax attitude towards vagrants living in RVs is maddening. We now have one at Emma Schmitz park. The vagrant has told people who ask him to leave that he has a ‘right’ to be there. Complaints to the police and CM Herbold go ignored. Where there is one, more will follow as the vags will make this their newest KOA Kampground, with increased car prowls and package thefts to surely follow.

  • FindlayWS October 31, 2017 (7:02 pm)

    LA Fitness does not care about theft. Seems like this would be an easy thing to prevent with a more secure methods to access the gym. Also, there is no surveillance of those enter/exiti their building.  They place security entirely on their guests. Our family of four quit this gym due to their lack of caring. Police response is also maddening.

  • X GymR November 4, 2017 (12:59 am)

    Umm just a quick ???  How about a check in check out policy to get into locker rooms.??? Seems easy,  maybe an rfid card or something of the like,, a fob,,  hmmm. $$$ is why it’s not. Bummer. $ b4 ciustomer safety. Too bad

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