Car prowls at Tumwater gym run two a day

TUMWATER - Six vehicles in the Valley Athletic Club parking lot have been burglarized in the past three days, the popular health club's general manager said Friday.

The club’s general manager, Katie Edmonds, said she is trying to get the word out to gym users not to leave valuables visible in their cars, but that they should use lockers. The club is making free lockers available to its members, she added.

Tumwater police detective Jen Kolb said officers are stepping up patrols in the lot in the wake of the increase in car burglaries at Valley. Staff members also are increasing parking lot patrols on the lookout for anything suspicious, Edmonds said.

The recent break-ins are mainly of the “quick grab and dash” variety, perpetrated by a suspect or suspects who break the closed windows of parked cars and grab whatever valuables are within reach.

On Thursday, Tumwater police responded to two vehicle break-ins at the club’s parking lot. Both vehicles had their windows smashed.

Kolb confirmed that one reason gym users might be leaving valuables in their car is that several years ago there was a rash of locker break-ins there and at other local gyms. Leaving valuables in a parked car, even a locked one, is no solution, Kolb said.

“It’s never a good idea to leave valuable property visible in your car, especially during the holiday season,” Kolb said.

Edmonds said staff members are communicating with patrons about the issue and how they can protect themselves from car burglaries.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465