DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Police believe a group of men stole from unsuspecting gym members across metro Atlanta, taking credit cards, IDs and guns while the victims worked out.
Woodstock police are searching for Wayne Gregory, of DeKalb County, in several thefts from gyms in Cherokee, North Fulton and Cobb counties.
Officers said Gregory and Girma Carrington, also of DeKalb County, stole from members at multiple Gold’s Gym, L.A. Fitness and Lifetime Fitness locations.
“They go to the gym, get visitor passes and go into the locker room and check unlocked lockers, take people’s wallets, keys to their car,” Woodstock police Sgt. John Steelman told Channel 2’s Shae Rozzi.
Steelman said the men would often take licenses and credit cards but leave the wallets in lockers and cars in the parking lot to buy more time to go shopping before victims realize what had been stolen.
Police showed Rozzi surveillance video from inside a local Walmart store that they believe shows the men using the stolen credit cards to buy prepaid American Express Cards and Visa cards to use elsewhere.
“They’d go and spend the weekend as high rollers in night clubs buying VIP rooms, bottle service and then ending up at local hotels living the high life of VIP service on someone else’s name,” Steelman said.
Officers arrested Carrington at an Atlanta area hotel over the weekend, but they’re still searching for Gregory. Officers found high-priced items inside Gregory’s home when they executed a search warrant.
“Inside the residence, we found Gucci shoes, Louis Vuitton shoes, Ed Hardy clothing,” Steelman said. “In one of the closets, they had bags and bags, trash bags full of the garments with the price tags still on, just living the high life.”
Anyone who sees Gregory is asked to call 911.
Police said the thefts began in December, and they believe the men stole three handguns from cars in the parking lots.
Steelman said the men are known to travel from Georgia to New Jersey, where it’s harder to buy guns and they could get more money for the weapons.
“That gives us a little concern because the weapons could end up in crimes in New Jersey or elsewhere,” Steelman said.
Police said they are just as concerned about victims having their identities stolen, given the amount of time and legwork it can take someone to rebuild their credit.