The Watch with Will Kennedy: Staying Safe at the Gym

CHARLOTTE, NC — New Year, new you.

It’s one of the first places people go in the New Year, and one of the last places you would think has crime. But thieves are lurking at your local gym, looking to cash in on your New Year’s resolution.

“Unless you keep it in a pocket at all times, or keep it on you at all times, it could walk away,” says CMPD Officer Chris Kopp.

Credit cards, cash, cell phones and even gym bags: people are losing more than pounds at the gym.

It’s a crime of opportunity. Most people let their guard down at the gym, thinking security cameras, staff and other members will look out for their things. It can be a costly mistake.

The best way to keep your stuff is safe at the gym is to take things like your keys, wallet and cell phone and put them inside a locker. But closing this door isn’t enough. You need to use a lock.

“They have those lockers in the gyms,” says Officer Kopp. “People won’t lock it up. You know, they’ll find an available locker, throw all their stuff in their, shut it and think that it’s protected, when really it’s not.”

CMPD dug into the numbers when it comes to thefts at gyms, and cell phones are the top target. Officer Kopp says the best way to protect that precious smart phone is to leave it locked in your car, or in that locker.

And make sure you have your cell phone’s IMEI, the unique identifying number for the device, written down somewhere in case you have to track a stolen phone.

“People tend to want to have their cell phone by them at all times,” says Officer Kopp. “So they’ll put it at the bench right next to the basketball court, not realizing that somebody could sit right next to it, grab it and walk off and you would never know.”

CMPD says gyms trail only schools when it comes to cell phone thefts.