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Your fitness center's parking lot may be a hot spot for crime

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -  It's the perfect scenario for a would be thief. Cars and trucks parked for hours with valuables inside.

Fidel Correa has seen evidence of the break-ins first hand. He says, "I've actually come outside and seen like glass on the parking spots all like lined up across the thing."

Five people reported burglaries at the Gold's Gym in Palm Springs in the last two months alone. But, it's not just happening at Gold's.

Palm Springs Police Sergeant Mike Kovaleff explains. "Any location where people tend to exercise they want to leave as many of their belongings in their vehicle. If they're going on a hike, if they're going running, if they're going biking, they leave their stuff in their car which a lot of the time they leave in plain view. Which makes it an easy target for suspects to commit these crimes."

People leave their car to exercise which can take several hours. That's a lot of time for a crime that takes only seconds to carry out.

The higher number of break-ins doesn't shock Ray Lanowy who attends Gold's. He tells us, "No it doesn't surprise me. I think people are very foolish. They're very trusting, and you probably shouldn't be in this economy and the world today in general." Ray says he always locks his car, and takes all of his valuables with him.

Most of these crimes happen at night, and the thieves commonly take cell phones, stereos and wallets.

To lessen the chance of having your car broken into, make sure you never leave any valuables in plain sight, or in your car at all if possible. Be sure to lock your vehicle, and use storage lockers inside if available.

What do you do if you find car broken into?

Sergeant Kovaleff says, "The best thing to do is look for the suspects first of all, but notify us immediately. If we don't know that the crime was committed there we're not going to address the issue at hand. So we need to have the crimes reported so we can address the issues and look for the possible suspects."

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