INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 28, 2015)– Thieves are stealing cars out of an LA Fitness parking lot while the victims are inside working out.
FOX59 found at least three cases of vehicles being stolen off the LA Fitness lot in the 6100 block of Keystone Avenue in the past week.
Two of the victims told us they admit they should’ve been more careful, but they just can’t believe someone would steal so much around the holidays.
“I just jumped in the pool for about 20 or 25 minutes, got out, and it was gone,” said Alex Riddhagni.
The “it” is Alex Riddhagni’s Toyota 4-Runner, and the car is one of a kind.
“We put on an after-market bumper custom fit to it and custom-ordered that,” he said, “Took me about three years to build with some buddies and tools, and now it’s gone.”
Riddhagni went for a swim Monday at the LA Fitness on Keystone Avenue, across from the Glendale Town Center. He left his clothes, backpack, and vehicle keys in a locker, but he did not lock it.
Riddhagni is a firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department. He jumps from station to station, and he had thousands of dollars worth of gear in his vehicle. The thief took that, along with a personal gun.
“Fire gear includes everything, your bunker pants, bunker boots, helmet, gloves, jacket, everything, even my mask. We’ve all got personalized masks,” he said.
Another victim who asked we hide their identity had their car and wallet stolen last Tuesday from the same LA Fitness.
“I was in the gym for 30 minutes, when my bank notified me and said there was a fraudulent charge on my card,” the victim said.
That victim also left their personal belongings, including car keys, in an unsecured locker in the gym.
“It’s very hard. I had to replace my driver’s license to get a rental car, which I’ve yet to get because of the holidays,” said the victim.
Monday night signs were hanging on the doors of the LA Fitness on Keystone Avenue, telling patrons not to leave keys or valuables in their cars or lockers.
A manager at the gym told FOX59 that they are cooperating with IMPD and do have exterior cameras. They are also reminding customers to secure valuables.
It’s a message that came too little too late for some victims.
“It was news to me that people had been getting their actual vehicles stolen. That part I didn’t know,” said Riddhagni, “You can’t trust anybody, and if it’s five minutes or two hours, you’ve got to lock your stuff up.”
A police report for a third incident indicated that the victim left the car unlocked with keys inside the vehicle.