In-Shape Health Clubs, 101 N. Tracy Blvd, has had several break-ins in the past few months, as well as a site where suspicious characters look inside vehicles. In fact, the theft has hit such a fever pitch that four security cameras will be installed in the lot within the next month.
There is a sign in the gym’s front window advising members to safeguard their items while they work out. But the small sign may be overlooked by members determined to get sweating.
There is also a handout at the front desk, and dedicated hours for an employee to patrol the parking lot at certain times, said Michelle Clark, an In-Shape Health Clubs spokeswoman. But that hasn’t been enough — that’s why the security cameras are being added in March.
“We need to make sure we do everything possible,” Clark said. “We’ve already been doing a lot, but were doing more now, with the installing of the cameras.”
Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman, though, said the first line of defense is for people to heed the warning offered by the gym — don’t leave valuables in plain sight.
“It’s a reminder for people to either hide their stuff or bring it in,” said Sheneman. “They’re stealing things they can see. There are people in and out of that lot. I don’t know who could be responsible for that.”
According to Sheneman, there are some things residents can do — lock the doors, don’t leave things in sight, don’t leave a wallet or passport in the car at all — to make sure their car is not broken into. He says to keep cars “temptation-free.”
Sheneman said the reason gyms are often a hot spot for burglaries is that there is a lack of awareness on the part of members.
“Because there is so much foot traffic, people are concerned with their workout and where they’re going next — they are not looking around,” he said. “They may not know that someone is looking to break into a car or waiting for someone to go into the gym.”
Sheneman said the In-Shape cameras might stop criminals, but admits that they aren’t an absolute deterrent.
“The images that come off the cameras allow us identify the person that broke into the vehicle,” Sheneman said. “Businesses all over town have surveillance systems. It also acts as a deterrent. You would think someone that walked into a bank knew they were being recorded.”