Purse Thief Targeting Fitness Centers

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WESTLAKE, Ohio -- A purse snatcher is targeting several local fitness centers, reportedly breaking into vehicles to complete the crimes.

Westlake police say since Dec. 10, they've received three reports of thefts from Bally Total Fitness on Columbia Road, one theft from Jazzercise on Detroit Avenue, one theft from Inner Bliss Yoga on Clemens Road and two thefts from LA Total Fitness in Crocker Park.

The two thefts from LA Total Fitness occurred on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. In the first theft, a woman reported both passenger side windows of her 2009 Honda Accord were broken and her purse containing $100, two checkbooks and several credit cards were missing. She also reported a missing briefcase. Police believe the break-in occurred sometime between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

In the Jan. 2 theft, a woman reported the front passenger side window of her 2007 Hyundai Sonata was broken, and a purse containing $50, $100 in gift cards, a credit card and a personal check was missing. The break-in occurred at approximately 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The theft at Bally Total Fitness occurred on Jan. 4 sometime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. A woman reported the driver's side window of her 2008 Volkswagen Beetle was broken, and a purse containing several credit cards was missing.

In each case, the purses were hidden in the glove compartment or under a seat in the cars. Authorities say they urge drivers to lock valuable items in the trunk of their car, or bring only necessary items to fitness facilities.

Police say there are no suspects in the thefts. Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to contact authorities.

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