Spike in gym and yoga studio thefts across Delaware Valley prompt police to warn keep personal items at home

When going to the gym, leave personal belongings at home. Police say theft of personal items keep happening across the Delaware Valley and it’s easily preventable.

How many people stop at the gym or catch a yoga class on the way home and either leave their belongings in open view in their car, or toss items in a cubbie without a thought?

Thieves count on that.

“Very upsetting, especially in a yoga studio where you feel safe and loved and peaceful,” said yoga instructor Kiera Missanelli.

Missanelli is a yoga instructor at Bulldog Yoga in Villanova. She is stunned someone would steal credit cards while people are focusing on getting fit and feeling good.

“Do you bring valuables in?” asked FOX 29’s Dawn Timmeney.

“Yeah, all the time. I honestly never think about locking them up because everyone is so trustworthy here,” Missanelli replied.

Maybe the thief was counting on that yoga mindset.

Radnor Township Police say a middle-aged woman came into the yoga studio Friday morning, pretending to be interested in yoga gear and classes. She asked to use the ladies room and, while out of sight, police say she swiped a wallet from an unlocked locker and another from a cubbie where everyone leaves their stuff.

Theft at a yoga studio in Radnor Township.

Various credit cards were taken. We already have a lot of hits, higher dollar hits on two different cards,” stated Detective T.J. Screiber, with the Radnor Township Police.

Detective Screiber says they racked up more than $3,000 on one card and over $4,000 on another at stores like Free People and Apple in Suburban Square, as well as two big box stores in Plymouth Meeting.

“It’s quite terrifying and it definitely makes me think twice about leaving stuff there. Of course you leave it in your car. It’s also a risk,” said Stephanie Hewitt.

Sad, but true. Berlin Township Police are investigating car windows smashed and items stolen while people were at a Crossfit gym last month.

Theft at yoga studio in Radnor Twonship.

Gyms and restaurants are top targets because the bad guys know people will be gone at least an hour.

“A lot of times they have scouts. Might be two or three of them, where one guy does the breaking and entering and another guy looks out for cars and people walking by and just wait,” added Detective Screiber.

Police say invest in a good lock at the gym and don’t leave anything in plain sight inside a vehicle. Lock it in the trunk or leave it at home.  


For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.