Couple's fury at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre theftBy Karen Jordan
February 21, 2013
Police are investigating a spate of locker thefts at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre which have left a Lower Earley couple angry and frustrated.
Terezia La Piazza, 36, believes her phone and purse were stolen from her locker at Harpers gym some time before 5.40pm on Sunday, February 10.
She reported the incident to the centre’s managers, but says they are refusing to take responsibility and will not compensate her for her missing possessions.
Mrs La Piazza, from Hornbeam Drive, said: “Because there was no damage to the locker they asked me whether I was sure I had locked it.
“I know I had because you can’t get the key out until you put your pound coin in, and I pinned the key to my trousers.
“I had left my purse and my Samsung phone in my handbag which was later found, with my jumper, upside down in the ladies’ toilet, but my purse and mobile were missing.
“My phone isn’t insured as I’ve never had a problem like this before in the two-and-a-half years I’ve been a member at Harpers.
“I am distraught at losing my phone as it contains all my photos, including ones of my two children.”
Two other locker thefts were reported to the police on the same day.
Mrs La Piazza believes someone entered the changing room and opened her locker to steal the items before re-locking it.
Her husband Paul, 38, who also uses the gym, said: “You can only re-lock the locker by putting the coin in and turning the key. How can this have happened if my wife had the key on her?”
Mr La Piazza claims to have watched the fitness centre’s CCTV footage, saying he saw a man entering the changing rooms at 4.54pm and leaving 10 minutes later.
“He went into the female changing room, walked out and then went into the gents, before going into the gym,” he said.
A police spokesman said: “We have reports of three separate incidents on Sunday, all relating to items taken from lockers at around the same time.
“There were six other locker-related incidents reported last year.
“There have been no arrests so far.”
A Loddon Valley Leisure Centre spokeswoman said they were not aware of the CCTV being viewed.
She added: “We aren’t able to comment on the recent reported locker break-in due to the police investigation.
“We are co-operating with the police to investigate this matter and take security extremely seriously and have increased changing room inspections.
“Unfortunately, we can’t take responsibility for any thefts that occur at the leisure centre and we do display this clearly throughout the changing rooms. We advise users not to lock any valuables in the locker or to keep them on them at all times.”
Anyone with information should call Sgt Mark Smith at Loddon Valley Police station on 101.