HOW SAFE IS YOUR GYM......? In terms of personal property, vehicles?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 12, 2009 2:57 PM GMT
    We've had lots of discussion about gyms and fitness facilities, but I can't
    remember talk about how safe your gym is with regard to your personal
    stuff you stow away in a locker (in the locker room) or even your car in the parking lot.

    While I've never had anything taken, I was "strongly encouraged" recently never to put my billfold (or anything of major value) in my locker in the locker room. Was told that our local YMCA's get visited by criminals with bolt cutters, lockers get raided, things stolen and that a "ring" has been doing it primarily for the credit cards which can be sold.

    I am also aware that cars have been damaged and ripped into a few times
    (but much less frequently). I've altered my habits.

    While some of this is probably common, I wonder if private clubs are any safer or if this is the kind of behavior everyone should expect and move
    to safeguard their belongings.
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    Dec 12, 2009 3:17 PM GMT
    Well, unlikely at the gym I use. Whether I take my bicycle, scooter or car, I always park in daylight, immediately adjacent to and in full view of an outdoor dining patio next door to the gym (Georgie's Alibi for those who know it in Wilton Manors). Both my car & scooter are protected by intrusion alarms. The club uses plastic cards with bar codes for access, including a miniature one you can put on your keyring, so you don't need your wallet.

    The locker room is one open space, with the lockers along the walls, no aisles, very risky to tear open a door with guys present almost all the time at the hours I'm there. And you can't get that far unless you're a member, as noted above. I suppose you could hide bolt cutters in a gym bag, and do it quickly, but I've never heard of it happening there.
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Dec 12, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    Mine is in downtown Frankfurt (Germany) with no parking facilities. Someone broke into the locker of my old training partner while we were training one evening (though our lockers use electronic locks, so it's always possible he got distracted and forgot to check whether it was really locked). I try to always use a locker toward the front, where I've even left my locker unlocked on two occasions and never lost anything.

    The gym offers small safes by the reception desk for valuables for a 2 euro deposit, and I sometimes use one if I have anything unusually valuable on me (generally, that just means my better watch if I'm going directly to an important client meeting afterwards).
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    Dec 12, 2009 5:55 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidWe've had lots of discussion about gyms and fitness facilities, but I can't
    remember talk about how safe your gym is with regard to your personal
    stuff you stow away in a locker (in the locker room) or even your car in the parking lot.

    While I've never had anything taken, I was "strongly encouraged" recently never to put my billfold (or anything of major value) in my locker in the locker room. Was told that our local YMCA's get visited by criminals with bolt cutters, lockers get raided, things stolen and that a "ring" has been doing it primarily for the credit cards which can be sold.

    I am also aware that cars have been damaged and ripped into a few times
    (but much less frequently). I've altered my habits.

    While some of this is probably common, I wonder if private clubs are any safer or if this is the kind of behavior everyone should expect and move
    to safeguard their belongings.


    Here in Texas we have two general rules:
    1. If it's not fastened down, it will get stolen.
    2. Texas is so big because there are so many idiots here.

    North Texas is well known for being a mecca of thieves. You can talk to law enforcement people to find out why.

    Every day when I go to the gym, I find no less than 6 unlocked lockers with all sorts of personal belongings.

    Logan / flex89 worked at LA Fitness in Lewisville. One guy had his cell phone stolen twice from his UNLOCKED locker in THREE DAYS. DOH!!!

    I once set my gloves down to go number 1 at 24 Hour Fitness in Lewisville. A young man snagged them. I confronted him (they were clearly mine). I went to the front desk and they would do nothing. I finally told the guy that if he needed my stinky gloves that bad, and couldn't afford 10 bucks, he could have them and that he was a dirt bag.

    Corey, my buddy (well kind of) from Lewisville is even dumber. He lost his billfold TWICE, in a week, from unlocked lockers at 24 Hour Fitness in Lewisville.

    In Arizona, and in Nebraska, I've left stuff laying around and come back a week later and it was in the exact spot I left it. The quality of folks here is much lower, though. They litter. They're rude. They steal.

    Last summer, at LA Fitness, in Lewisville, I left my stop watch laying around. Brandon, a friend of mine, took it. I didn't know it, until someone ratted him out. I confronted Brandon but he knew damn well it was mine, and played the stupid card. Brandon gave me the stop watch back.

    Unfortunately, you have to protect yourself in places like Texas. It will get stolen, even right in front of you. It's part of the I,I,I,me,me,me way of thinking in this part of the world. Sad, but, true.

    It's ironic that so many Bible thumpers can't follow their own rules, or, even just do the right thing.

    Such is the world we live in, sadly.

    I was at 24 Hour Fitness on Fairmount in Dallas one afternoon a few years back. It was around 5:30 p.m. The gym was packed. Someone came through with bolt cutters, grabbed a guy's BMW keys, and ran off with them. They hit several other lockers, too. True story. I never heard if the guy lost his car, or not. The act was beyond brazen.

    I usually don't take my billfold, nor money, into the gym.

    Simple locks are easy for a thief to pick. (Just listen for the clicks as you pull the shank.) I used to know a kid that could pick a lock in nothing flat. He could open a padlock in less than 20 seconds.

    Most gyms around here have cars that get broken into in the parking lot in BROAD DAYLIGHT. The police department puts surveillance rigs in them, but, it still happens.

    LifeTime Fitness seems to be safer, overall. They have tons of lighting and cameras everywhere.

    The gyms I go to all have warnings about doing stupid stuff. Handouts, signs, and so on. Thieves abound in this part of the world.
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    Dec 12, 2009 6:07 PM GMT
    I go to Lifetime Fitness and it seems to be relatively safe. The gyms are in good areas, but a friend of mine did work there for a while and told me when one of the locations first opened they had lockers getting broken in to all the time. I think that's why the "housekeeping" staff monitors the locker rooms so often now.

    ...well that and the constant stream of guy cruising the steam room icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 12, 2009 6:38 PM GMT
    I had a favorite pair of jeans stolen out of my gym locker... Fuck! I was so pissed. It is a huge community center gym, so many organizations, schools and public parties use its facilities. The gym has consequently installed the security locking doors that only card carrying members can get into the locker rooms. And I finally broke down and got a lock for my locker... Lesson learned!
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Dec 12, 2009 6:42 PM GMT
    I work at a small to moderately sized gym, and people are not observant of the security of their personal property at all, although we have signs everywhere reminding them to lock their lockers and we are not responsible..yada yada yada.

    I would say at least three electronic devices(iPods, cell phones, etc) go missing every week. Some devices make it to the lost and found. After that, some actually make it back to the owner.
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    Dec 12, 2009 7:49 PM GMT
    Locker room break-ins are not uncommon. I don't know why people buy those dinky little Master Lock combination locks. Those are easy to pop open with a heavy screwdriver or mini crowbar.

    If you want a secure lock, then get a lock that has the least amount of gap in the shackle area. If thieves can't wedge a screwdriver or crowbar in there, then they can't use leverage to pop it open. And bolt cutters won't fit either.

    40dpf.jpg

    I live pretty close to my gym. So I change/shower at home. And I only bring my keys, phone, and ID with me.

    Car break-in's aren't as bad. But I try to park in a well lit area. Or close to entrance where there's a lot of people walking around. But I don't leave valuables in my car anyways. My gym has a security camera that covers the parking lot. But it's only one camera and it covers just a small portion of the lot. Lame.
  • jonhyboy

    Posts: 44

    Dec 12, 2009 8:23 PM GMT
    I go at the gym at my university which is in a very safe area... on the parking lot there are tons of cameras... to enter (next to the reception desk) you have to swipe your card so you have to be member to enter... in the locker room there are aisles but there are so many people that it would be difficult to cut a padlock... but I guess that it may happen late in the evening toward the back of the locker room.... and to enter in the gym you have to swipe your card again
  • SolidRanger

    Posts: 108

    Dec 12, 2009 8:29 PM GMT
    Wow, the stories here are crazy.

    I live in Idaho and my gym is about 5 minutes from my house. I never use a lock, usually don't lock my car door. Hell I rarely even lock my house doors. Never had anything stolen. I even leave my iPod in my locker while I shower.

    After reading these stories I better start securing my shit, because it's probably a matter of time and the people here seem to be getting worse.
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    Dec 12, 2009 8:31 PM GMT
    My curent gym is safe enough because its a two minutes from home and I don't use a locker but I used to go to a gym in Downtown Boston in a sketchy area. One time I returned to my locker and couldn't open my combo lock. Then I realized it was the wrong color.

    After we got it open, we figured out that the perp had bothered to put a new lock on (the face was a different color.) Apparently to hide the crime but also to slow me down. Got my cards cancelled immediately and recalled the odd guy with the big bag (hiding bolt cutters no doubt) who climbed up my ass (metaphoricallly speaking) as I went to this locker initially. I was oblivious and just thought he was annoying. I pay a lot more attention now.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14372

    Dec 12, 2009 8:42 PM GMT
    It is pretty damn sad that now we have to worry about our personal property at the gym. Putting belongings in lockers and securing them is no guarantee that they will not be stolen. Since I don't drive, I am dependent on public transportation during the winter months and I cycle during the warmer weather months, so I have to secure everything that I have in a gym locker. Because of this, I avoid taking any valuables with me and I only take a small amount of money. I leave my cell phone and credit cards at home. I just do not take any chances anymore because of the many lowlifes roaming around looking for something to break into and steal the contents. Even at the gym, nothing is perfectly safe. It does not really matter where the gym is located because crime is just as widespread in the suburbs as it is in the cities.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Dec 12, 2009 8:46 PM GMT
    Well I work for my gym so I'm required to say "YEAH! it's so safe!"

    But it actually is so.....
  • SanEsteban

    Posts: 454

    Dec 12, 2009 8:48 PM GMT
    The gyms I have gone to, both in Portland and in Phoenix have been extremely safe. My current gym is 24 Hour Fitness in Gilbert, AZ. I have accidently left things behind only to find them where I left them the next day. People are very honest around here. I feel fortunate for that!
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Dec 12, 2009 9:04 PM GMT
    Not so amusing story.

    One evening after working out, my training partner and I hit the sauna. While in there, someone took my membership card from the stand outside the door... which has my name and cell phone number written on it pretty clearly. After coming out and discovering it missing, we started asking around. Got back to the locker room and were told a guy was asking around if it belonged to anyone. I had to go down to the reception desk in my towel and flip flops to check if he'd handed it over. No. They sent someone up with a replacement, after reminding me that there is a phone in the locker rooms to contacting reception. Again, more people told me that some tallish guy was walking around trying to find the owner of the card. Nothing had been taken from the locker, so either it wasn't a thief or the place was too busy for him to try opening every electronic lock with it without being obvious.

    When I left the place, my card had been turned over to reception, so I got it back and asked myself out loud... if you took the wrong card from outside the sauna, isn't that the FIRST place you would look for the rightful owner?

    People are funny.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Dec 12, 2009 10:00 PM GMT
    As safe as it can be. I put my belonging, such as laptop, wallet even my passport there. Most of the member are professional, college student and they are not likely to be a thief. But, I still need to be careful. Its just common senses
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    Dec 12, 2009 10:04 PM GMT
    erm.. wow... scary..

    Well out my gym, you need to get past the counter with your membership card, the lockers are pretty safe, at least I see everyone putting wallets and such in them, I do the same, I mean, that is what they are there for, I've never had anything stolen and never heard of anything being stolen besides the lockers are to busy really for anything to happen plus you'd hear it (not a massive gym)
  • 2theTEE

    Posts: 637

    Dec 12, 2009 10:18 PM GMT
    The locker room at 24 is an open space, with the lockers against the walls so it'd definitely be hard for a potential thief to try to do anything. Would I still consider it somewhat of a safety measure for my belongings? Sort of (ok, not really), but I still always use a lock. I work out in the afternoon, when there's a steady flow of traffic going in and out of there but at night, I'm sure that it could/would be a different story, especially if there's no lock.



    A few years ago, at the same gym, my bud got his bag stolen from his locker and then went to check on his truck and found out that it had gotten stolen too! He had parked it out of camera view so there was not much that the club could do about it. His truck was found in a different city about a month later. He didn't use a lock that day.
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    Dec 12, 2009 10:39 PM GMT
    Bally Sheepshed Bay(in Brooklyn) is not safe either. Son of bitch took my gym bag full of clothes, wallet full credit card/money favorite jacket and jeans. Hell the security camera didn't work to catch the thievesicon_mad.gificon_evil.gif
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    Dec 12, 2009 10:40 PM GMT
    I've never had any problems or heard of any at my gym in particular but I've heard lots of stories of thefts and car break-ins at other gyms.

    No matter where I am I always lock my vehicle and keep valuables out of sight.
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    Dec 12, 2009 10:46 PM GMT
    you never know. They won't tell you if they have incidents in the gym. At least former employers might have access in the building
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    Dec 12, 2009 10:56 PM GMT
    Mine is very safe. I have seen gym bags sitting out unattended and untouched. Guys stow their clothes without locking the locker. An Iphone sat untouched in a locker with the door wide open.

    Alexandria/Arlington just has a better class of people.
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    Dec 12, 2009 11:35 PM GMT
    The one I frequent is pretty safe. It's pretty much frequented by frat boys and fire fighters. The other locations, I don't think I'd leave anything I cared about losing in the lockers with or without a lock.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Dec 12, 2009 11:47 PM GMT
    Granted that there are thieves out there. However, it amazes me how many guys put their things into a locker without locking the door!?!?!? I thought about making small notes that say "nice wallet."
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    Dec 12, 2009 11:49 PM GMT
    I don't use a lock. never had anything stolen from me. (: