Police issue warning about thieves targeting items left in cars in gym parking lots

Utica Police Department cites 6 incidents in last 2 weeks

UTICA, Mich. – A warning was issued Tuesday by the Utica Police Department about a spike in break-ins targeting vehicles parked outside of gyms.

Police said thieves know there are usually valuable items inside those vehicles, and there's something people do that tips off the criminals.

Tonya Lang is one of the many gym-goers who likes to work out early in the morning. She said her purse was stolen from her car in the parking lot.

"I had my purse stolen," Lang said. "I left it in the car, but now I just carry it in with me."

The number of people having items stolen from their cars is rising, police said. Utica police said there have been at least six reports in the last two weeks.

Thieves used to target gym lockers, but now they're going after the cars.

"It appears we have people lying in wait, waiting for a target of opportunity," Utica Police Chief Sean Coady said. "They look and see you putting something (in your car)."

The takeaway is to leave as much as you can at home and keep the rest with you in the gym. If you have to leave something in your car, hide it before you get to the gym, because thieves are watching.

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