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      Thieves targeting cars in gym parking lots

      DeWitt police are trying to crack a crime spree, since thieves have been preying on parking lots at local gyms.

      "I was getting out of my car, and my wallet was sitting on my seat because it fell out of my pocket. I grabbed it because I'm aware of what's going on" said Andrew Locke, who works out at Fitness Forum in DeWitt. "My buddy's dad got his window smashed and had some money in his car. Within five minutes someone had smashed the window, taken the money and was gone in two seconds."

      There have been at least 10 break-ins reported in the last few weeks at gyms throughout DeWitt and Onondaga County.

      Fitness Forum on East Genesee Street is not alone in fighting the problem. The criminals keep hitting up the same parking lots because they keep finding things to steal.

      Police call it a crime of opportunity and you can be your best defense by hiding your valuables or better yet, taking them out of the car. The thieves seem to be grabbing anything they can get their hands on.

      "It ranges from electronics, to phones, anything they can get a buck for on the streets," said DeWitt Police Officer Lucas Byron. "We've had instances where they've smashed a window and taken things out of the trunk so the best bet is to not to take belongings to the gym with you."

      At most health clubs, including Fitness Forum, you can lock your stuff up or carry it on you.

      Police are now stepping up patrols while local gyms step up awareness, and law enforcement needs your help to catch the criminals. If you see anything suspicious or have any information, call DeWitt Police at (315) 449-3640 or e-mail at