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New Year’s fitness resolution? Car prowlers targeting gym parking lots

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KIRKLAND — Be careful if you’re one of the people who made a resolution to get fit in the New Year. Car prowlers are targeting the parking lots of gyms.

“It’s good that they give us a heads-up about it,” said Kurt Kollmorgen, who got a warning from his LA Fitness in Kirkland.

He tries to keep his valuables on him when he works out. But he says he can’t bring everything into the gym.

“I’m vulnerable because as a landscaper, I have equipment in the back of the truck sometimes. So you have to take extra precautions to keep everything tucked away and locked away.”

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There is a motel right next to the gym. Brent Perkins has noticed a lot of strangers coming and going.

“There’s people that kind of just stalk around this area, unfortunately they live in their cars, come out and case the joint.”

But car prowls aren’t just a problem in the city of Kirkland. Cherish McAbee’s car was broken into outside the YMCA in Auburn. Maria Greene’s car windows were broken, while she was working out in Lynnwood.

"I mean it was stupid to leave my valuables in my car,” said Greene. “I get that, but I didn't really think that it would happen to me."

Perkins said it makes sense for thieves to target gym parking lots.

“People know that you're going to be inside for an hour or two.”

That’s why he’s careful when he leaves his car.

“I try to be extra vigilant,” he said. “I throw stuff in the trunk, and don't leave anything on the seat.”

There are cameras in the parking lot. Kollmorgen said the gym staff try to keep an eye on what’s happening.

“I think they do a pretty good job, I know the police patrol here. They've got lighting here. I know everyone locks their vehicles up here. We do what we can.”

Thieves have also been known to target the locker rooms inside gyms. So people are advised to always lock their stuff up, and alert gym staff or police if they see anyone suspicious.

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