The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

April 10, 2013

Vehicle break-ins plague area gym

NORMAN — After several “smash and grab” car break-ins this month, gym-goers may want to take extra precautions when going to work out.

The Health Club’s parking lot in west Norman was recently hit and, in many cases, female’s cars were targeted.

“Each one of these that’s happened, their (the females’) purses are always in the front seat,” said Kellie Riggs, the Health Club’s office manager.

In the most recent car break-in that occurred Monday, a lunchbag that looked like a purse was left in the front seat, Riggs said.

Earlier this month, a college student paid the price. While attending an early morning Zumba class at the gym, the master’s degree candidate’s car window was smashed and her purse and phone were taken, said her father, Victor Rook.

Rook said when his daughter got out of the class, she called the bank and found out that her cards had already been charged at Walmart, Lowes and a few other stores.

However, they thought they’d be able to catch the culprit because she had parked near a security camera. They later found out that didn’t matter because they were told the cameras didn’t work.

“I’m a bit frustrated,” Victor Rook said.

Riggs said the Health Club is owned by Norman Regional Hospital and the hospital is the one that operates and monitors the cameras.

Riggs also said police can get footage from the hospital’s cameras.

In addition, the groundskeeper at the Health Club has been contacted and “he’s keeping his eye out, too,” Riggs said.

Monday’s “smash and grab” was the fourth one to happen in the past year. During a past incident, Riggs said the thieves were at Target within 10 minutes, racking up charges on a stolen credit card.

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