Lake County

Nationwide Gym Locker Theft Ring Hits Chicago Suburbs

In one incident, suspected thieves used stolen cash and credit cards to spend $30,000 at a mall

Police in the Chicago suburbs say a group of Eastern Europeans involved in a nationwide theft ring have targeted several area fitness centers.

At least five separate incidents have been reported - one in Maywood, two in Barrington and one each in Lake Forest and Highland Park, according to the Lake County News-Sun.

Earlier this month, the suspects hit the wellness center at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, took cash and credit cards and spent approximately $30,000 on Apple products and high-end jewelry at the Oak Brook Center shopping mall. 

Although police believe the suspects obtain credit cards from locked lockers, how the suspects get access to the lockers remains uncertain.

Crew members have been linked to thefts in California, Oregon, Minnesota, Texas, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri and Wisconsin, along with Illinois. Police believe the crew of up to 20 people is based in California. 

Police are having a hard time tracking down the suspected thieves, because they rent cars in their own names and use their own credit cards. They also stay in hotels and pay for meals using their cards or cash.

Police plan to release more information on the case Thursday. 

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