Thief Targeting Yoga, Fitness Studios Across Bay Area - NBC Bay Area

Thief Targeting Yoga, Fitness Studios Across Bay Area

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Police are searching for a thief targeting small fitness studios across the Bay Area. Laura Malpert reports.

    (Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017)

    Police are searching for a thief who is targeting small fitness studios across the Bay Area.

    A man is suspected of stealing people's wallets while they are in class and using the stolen credit cards for purchases. Fitness studios in Napa, Pacifica, San Jose, Pleasant Hill, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek have reported similar thefts. Police suspect the same man is responsible for the crimes.

    Megan Wilson owns a fitness studio in Willow Glen and has surveillance video of the suspect recently in her gym.

    "He makes himself comfortable and when class is about to begin he tells our staff that he feels ill," Wilson said.

    Wilson said the man then steps out to get fresh air and takes off with two stolen wallets.

    "I think it's a shame," Wilson said. "It sounds like he's targeting places that are built on community and attacking people where they are vulnerable."

    Police in Walnut Creek said the man in Wilson's video appears to be Christopher Newton, who is accused of targeting small fitness studio across the Bay Area.

    Walnut Creek police Sgt. Andy Brown said the suspect has a taxi waiting for him outside.

    Jenn Wendell said Newton also hit her yoga studio in Walnut Creek.

    "This is our sacred space and it's a sacred space for so many people," Wendell said. "So I think it's unsettling."

    Witnesses said Newton talks with a feminine voice and is flamboyant. Police urge anyone with information to come forward.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android