Crime

Fitness center burglar targets Burleson church

A vehicle burglary suspect broke into a car on Jan. 10 at Cana Baptist Church in Burleson. Detectives believe the same man is responsible for a series of vehicle burglaries at area fitness centers.
A vehicle burglary suspect broke into a car on Jan. 10 at Cana Baptist Church in Burleson. Detectives believe the same man is responsible for a series of vehicle burglaries at area fitness centers. Courtesy

A suspect wanted in a series of vehicle burglaries at North Texas fitness centers has added a church to his targets, authorities said Thursday.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office asked for help in identifying the man who broke into a vehicle at Cana Baptist Church, 2309 E. Renfro St., on Jan. 10 and stole credit cards. The suspect used the cards at several businesses, authorities said.

Investigators have determined that the suspect is the same guy that multiple agencies have been trying to track down in the past several weeks in connection with burglaries at fitness centers.

Detectives believe the man has burglarized vehicles parked by women at centers in Flower Mound, Southlake, Colleyville, Highland Village, Westworth Village and Plano since September.

Police have released a photo of the man taken by a surveillance camera at a store where the man used credit cards stolen from a car at a fitness center. A photo of the suspect vehicle also has been released.

Police said his method is to watch as women park at fitness centers. When one walks to the gym without a purse, he breaks her car window and takes her purse or other valuables, police said. He uses credit cards immediately after he steals them, before the accounts can be closed, police say.

The man is a suspect in six burglaries at Life Time Fitness in the 3100 block of Churchill Drive in Flower Mound and one at Life Time Fitness in the 1200 block of Church Street in Colleyville. He is also a suspect in a burglary at 24 Hour Fitness in the 300 block of Nolen Drive in Southlake.

Vehicles at gyms in Highland Village, Plano and Westworth Village also have been targeted.

The suspect has been driving a a white four-door Ford Explorer with no front plates. In the Plano case, the suspect removed the rear license plate.

In many cases after stealing credit cards, the suspect has used the cards at a nearby Lowes or Home Depot.

Generally, the suspect has targeted vehicles from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Anyone with information should call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 817-556-6058, extension 236 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-794-8477.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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