Loaded Gun Found in Van at LA Fitness in Royal Oak

Vehicles in the parking lots at the popular gym are frequent targets of thieves, so police steps up patrols when they can.

A loaded gun was found in the front seat of a van in the parking lot of  in Royal Oak last week. Royal Oak Police officers, who were patroling the area because of numerous vehicle break-ins in recent months, located the vehicle owner inside the gym and advised him of the dangers of leaving a loaded handgun inside a vehicle in plain view.

 management said the gym is working with the  to have its parking lot patrolled after a series of crimes, according to gym manager Ty Hamadeh.

“Break-ins are happening throughout the city,” Hamade said, downplaying reports. “It’s not just us.”

LA Fitness distributes fliers at the front desk asking patrons to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity. Police say the best thing to do is lock any personal belongings in the trunk of your car, out of sight, before you enter the gym and always lock the doors of your vehicle, too.

"We have been performing extra patrols there as frequently as staffing and call volume permit," Royal Oak Police Lt. Tom Goad said.

The following incidents at LA Fitness were reported to police the last two months: 

  • March 14: A man reported someone stole his backpack, wallet and clothes from an unlocked locker.
  • March 28: A woman reported someone smashed the passenger side window of her vehicle and stole a purse.
  • March 28: A woman reported someone smashed the passenger side window of her vehicle and stole a purse, cell phone and money.
  • March 28: A woman reported the passenger side window of her vehicle was smashed and her purse taken.
  • March 29: A man reported someone entered his unlocked vehicle and stole his wallet.
  • March 30: A woman reported someone broke her vehicle’s window and stole her purse. 
  • March 30: A man reported someone broke his vehicle’s window and stole his briefcase. 
  • March 30: A woman reported someone broke her vehicle’s window and stole her purse.
  • April 10: A woman reported someone entered her unlocked vehicle and stole her purse.
  • April 11: Royal Oak officers were dispatched to investigate a fight on the basketball court. The officers located one of the people involved in the locker room and determined the other had left the area. The person in the locker room was arrested on a charge of interfering with a police officer.
  • April 15: A man reported his wallet, credit cards and cell phone were stolen from an unlocked locker.
  • April 16: A man reported someone his iPod from his gym bag inside the facility.
  • April 18: A man reported his car keys were taken from an unsecured locker in the locker room and his 2007 Mazda 6 stolen.
  • April 22: A man reported someone broke the driver’s rear window and stole his laptop from the back seat.
  • April 24: A man reported that jewelry in his car in the parking lot was missing after someone broke into his locker and removed his keys.
  • April 24: Royal Oak officers were patrolling in the lot and noticed a van with a loaded handgun laying on the front seat.
Betsy McKeeman May 01, 2012 at 02:07 PM
The bigger question is why aren't car doors and lockers locked and important items such as purses and briefcases hidden out of plain view?! It's a safe area but you make yourself an easier target if you don't take proper precautions.
Kristen May 01, 2012 at 04:37 PM
People that leave their doors unlocked or have valuables in clear site are certainly more vulnerable to theft, but these same people are parked at Home Depot, Target, Krogers, malls, etc. The issue is that there is more and more crime in Royal Oak and businesses like LA Fitness are not doing their part to keep their customers safe.
Ray from Sterling Heights May 02, 2012 at 12:57 AM
That man's gun permit should be revoked. Among the many responsibilities of owning a gun are KEEP it secured from children and bad guys. I'm pro 2A but some people should not own a gun.
SERIALKILLA CHUCKY May 02, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Arielle May 14, 2013 at 08:42 PM
This is a poorly managed gym and the management/staff does not give a crap about your belongings or safety. All this place cares about is getting money. It is ghetto, unclean and everybody is rude. This place NEEDS NEW STAFF AND MANAGEMENT!!!!! don't leave anything u don't want stolen unattended


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