GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police say a man in Gwinnett County has been breaking into cars outside gyms and stealing wallets and purses, then using the cards he takes to try and buy thousands of dollars in gift cards.
According to Gwinnett County Police, his getaway vehicle of choice is a U-Haul pickup truck.
Authorities put out a release on Wednesday saying that the suspect has broken into cars outside at least three gyms in in June and July.
On the first occasion, he charged $250. On the second and third, he charged $500. His last known attempt was for $2,000, though police did not indicate that charge was successful.
“The suspect likes to break into vehicles outside of various gyms while the owners are inside working out,” Gwinnett Police said in the release. “The suspect will scout the vehicles in the parking lot and look for wallets and purses that are visible. When he finds one, he will break into the vehicle and steal the credit cards and cash.”
Police said the suspect first struck on June 6 outside the Planet Fitness at 1455 Pleasant Hill Rd. in Duluth. Two days later, he broke into a car outside Crunch Fitness at 1175 Scenic Highway in unincorporated Snellville.
The next known break-in was July 1 at Crossfit PPG at 4505 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Peachtree Corners.
According to police, buying gift cards is “more and more prevalent in financial transaction card theft/fraud cases” because it’s harder to track down subsequent purchases.
The suspect was described by police as having a beard and a tattoo on his left forearm. On two occasions, he has been seen wearing a Braves hat.
Police are asking anyone with information to call Gwinnett County Police detectives at 770-513-5300. Anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.