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24-Hour Super Thieves – Part II

As reported last week, our parenting columnist had her car stolen from 24-Hour Fitness Super Sport in San Ramon last month – find out the latest about what happened.

For those who didn’t have the joy of reading my last column, .

Thanks to all who commented on that story, including Troy, the VP of 24-Hour Fitness, who clarified that the gym actually does have security cameras in the parking lot. Turns out one of those cameras caught the thief who stole my car.

I learned several interesting things about recent thefts at the gym that might interest fellow Super Sport goers:

*Mine was one of two cars stolen at the gym on Aug. 27.

*Earlier that same week, a thief broke in to the men’s locker room, cut locks and stole backpacks with valuables from several members on the previous Tuesday and Thursday. Police ended up catching him, and he shared that he actually broke some of the cheaper locks that members had purchased at the gym with his bare hands.

My big news is that the police found my car. It was abandoned at a Shell station in Hayward.

The day after she stole my car, she tried to change the email address associated with my bank account. I closed my accounts, alerted authorities and purchased extra anti-fraud protection insurance, yet, still I wonder what her next move will be.

When I went to see my car recently, I discovered she left a backpack in my car that wasn’t mine. It was filled with lots of mail that appeared to have been stolen from a variety of people.

The detective on my case told me she used my card to call a jail … but that it would take them months to subpoena records to find out who she was calling.

“People think we can just dust a car for fingerprints and use DNA to find thieves," he said. "But the DNA labs are backlogged for murder cases … we don’t do DNA testing for car thefts. Real life is nothing like CSI.”

Real life is nothing like Gilligan’s Island, either, I’ve found, but I digress.

The woman who stole my car must have had some anger issues. She slashed the leather seats and dashboard, which the auto repair guy told me would probably end up costing more to fix than the car is worth.

I haven’t received the final blow from my insurance yet, but looks like it's close to being considered totaled … and that I’m not likely to get what I paid for it three months ago.

I still love 24-Hour Fitness Super Sport, though admittedly, it’s been hard for me to go back there to work out.

I’ve learned that thieves like to break into locker rooms late at night because there aren’t that many people around to catch them. As I mentioned in my last column, the best thing would be to carry your valuables around with you in your pockets or in a fanny pack.

But after I work out, I like to go to the steam room or take a swim or hit the whirlpool – you can’t take a fanny pack to any of those places. I asked the detective, “What are we supposed to do if we can’t lock our things in the locker rooms?”

He suggested:

*Store your things in one of the lockers outside the locker room. Thieves are much less likely to target locked lockers located where people are working out.

* Don’t leave your valuables in the car. Leave them at home or carry them with you.

I’d like to thank the manager of the 24-Hour Fitness Super Sport gym for coming in to the gym on his Sunday off to watch the security cameras, helping officers identify the thief who stole my car.

They haven’t found her yet, but thanks to those cameras and the manager's help identifying her, they know what she looks like.

Thanks to all who sent me their best wishes.

Renae Wilber September 18, 2011 at 12:32 AM
Thanks for the follow-up Julie! So sorry you've had to go through such a horrible ordeal. Interestingly enough, my daughter's boyfriend had his car stolen two years ago from the covered Sears parking lot at the Stoneridge Mall. Apparently, Sears doesn't keep cameras as the rest of the mall does in their parking lot, hence, lots of theft. But interestingly enough, we found the car (thrashed) the very same night, the police and detectives came, and spent an hour brushing it for prints. Perhaps CCC budget is less than Alameda in regard to finding thieves, but this happened right here in Dublin, not on CSI. Sorry for your loss. ~Renae~
Julie Knight September 18, 2011 at 07:52 AM
Hmmm. Thanks for the heads up about the Sears parking lot...weird they don't have cameras there, especially if there have been lots of thefts. That is interesting they brushed his car for prints...I'm jealous...lol.
Renae Wilber September 18, 2011 at 06:35 PM
They might have put cameras in since then, but this was a few years ago when the police said they didn't have them installed; and perhaps they took the prints because so many cars were stolen from that parking garage. Either way, I didn't want you to think that you were out of line for hoping they would take prints...and it sounded like the detective was a bit patronizing. San Ramon has had a car theft problem as far back as I can remember - particularly the area off of Crow Canyon because they easily escape at night through the Canyon to the other side of the hill, making it hard to find the vehicle. If they dusted for prints, maybe there would be less theft. Just my opinion. Renae
Stephen Carbonaro September 20, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Just curious, what kind if car do you have?
Julie Knight September 30, 2011 at 04:57 PM
volvo S80
Dave Enright October 21, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Not very smart identifying your vehicle for every Tom, Dick and Harry crackpot that reads this article/site. Nowadays you need to be more careful. Also, I wouldn't be so quick to thank the guy at 24 Hour for coming in on his day off as they've had problems in that parking lot and inside their club as I found out six years ago when my car was ripped off. They still don't have adequate lighting or security cameras throughout the parking lot. They did the minimal to say they did SOMETHING when in reality that parking lot is no safer or secure than it was back when I was victimized

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