PSOs arrest pair after gym thefts

Brimbank Crime Investigation Unit detectives have charged two teenage girls following an alleged theft of motor vehicle last night.

PSOs arrested the duo after they were seen allegedly attempting to steal a blue Mazda sedan from a car park near the Watergardens Railway Station about 8.35pm.

Investigators believe the pair stole the keys to the vehicle from a nearby gym, along with a number of other items, which were subsequently located and returned to their owners.

The girls, both aged 15, from Southbank and Deer Park, have each been charged with burglary, attempted theft of motor vehicle and three counts of theft.

They will appear at a children’s court at a later date.

Quotes attributed to Detective Sergeant Jason Wallace from the Brimbank Crime Investigation Unit.

“We’ve been seeing small groups of two or three youths target fitness centres across Melbourne to steal valuables such as wallets, purses, phones and keys,” D/Sergeant Wallace said.

“Typically, offenders have entered businesses in pairs or groups by posing as gym members or tail-gating customers through entry points. Once inside, one will use the equipment, posing as a customer, while the other seeks out unsecured valuables or opens lockers and steals items.

“This offending has led to serious high-harm offences being committed, which have a significant impact on the community’s safety and feelings of safety. That’s why our detectives have been working around the clock to investigate these crimes and hold offenders to account.”

“We continue to work with fitness centres to address security issues and implement crime prevention measures such as lockable storage devices and CCTV.”

In addition to the work police and gyms are doing, Victoria Police is asking the community to exercise caution and secure their valuables when attending gyms and leisure centres.

• Do not leave your bags unattended

• Where available, use the secure lockers provided

• Do not allow anyone to use your access pass, even if they have ‘forgotten’ theirs

• If you witness suspicious behaviour, alert a staff member immediately

• For immediate police attendance, call Triple Zero (000).

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