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More Car Break-ins Reported at Gold’s Gym

Windows smashed on two vehicles.

Gwinnett County Police are investigating two new cases of entering auto reported at on Auburn Road.

On June 23, a thief or thieves smashed the windows of two cars in order to gain access to the interior. Both incidents occurred between 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. In one case, the front passenger window of a gold Ford Expedition was broken. No items were taken according to the victim. In the second break-in, the back passenger window of a Toyota 4-Runner was smashed. The victim said a wallet containing her credit cards, driver’s license and cash was taken.

There were no witnesses to either incident. Both cases are listed as active.

Similar crimes have been reported at Gold’s Gym within the past few months. On April 11, and stole various items including purses, an iPhone and jewelry. Similar and .

Police advise vehicle owners to place valuables in a secure location. For more tips on preventing car break-ins, .

Cathy Colquitt June 29, 2011 at 08:24 PM
My purse was stolen from the gym on 6/21 (window smashed). Bonnie - to be honest - I thought my purse was safer hidden on the backseat floor of my car (out of sight) rather than in the gym in a locker. My car was locked and has an alarm. I don't think anyone doing this is 'asking' for trouble. A crime is a crime. Of course, I am more cautious now, but I don't we should in any way blame the victim. Let's put the blame where it belongs...on the criminal.
Mark Oxley June 30, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Tend to agree with Bonnie. Don't tempt a thief by leaving any valuables where they can be seen. Sorry for your loss.
TheLaw July 08, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Why wouldn't your purse been safer locked in the trunk?
Cathy Colquitt July 08, 2011 at 10:24 AM
I have a SUV...so no trunk. My windows are really tinted, so they would have had to have their face pressed up to the glass - and even then, I think it would have been hard for them to see it (on the floor on the car). It makes me think they may have been watching me. Anyway - I just keep hearing about these break-ins - and I think it is one of those things where you don't think it will happen to you - until it happens to you. I have also read where there have been a few cars whose windows were smashed - but there was nothing to steal. Again - it is just my opinion that although people should be very careful with their valuables - we need to place the blame on the criminals - not the victims.
North Georgia Weather July 08, 2011 at 10:51 AM
Why doesn't Gold's do something about it? No security camera's???
Diane July 08, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Cathy - we make ourselves victims. Leave valuables at home. Take anything else inside with you. One area is no worse than the other. There are criminals watching to see what you exit your vehicle with. I think insurance companies need to educate their policy holders to this fact. We are our own worst enemies.
Diane July 08, 2011 at 12:52 PM
One further word. You can't blame the criminal if you can't catch him. So you have to think about your own safety.
Cathy Colquitt July 08, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Diane, I really disagree with your comment...and I actually find it a little offensive: 'We make ourselves victims"? What about the people who had their windows smashed and had no valuables inside? How did they make themselves the victims? Of course I blame the criminal!! They made the deliberate decision to do something they knew was wrong.
Cathy Colquitt July 08, 2011 at 11:22 PM
Daculaweather - apparently they have camera's, but they don't cover the entire parking lot. I suggested to the gym that they do more to notify their members about these break-ins. I think the more that people are aware - the more cautious they will be - and hopefully, more inclined to report suspicious activity. At this time - my guess is that most members are not aware of the problems.
TheLaw July 10, 2011 at 03:49 PM
The economy, lack of jobs, down slide of personal responsibility replaced with "what can others do for me" is driving much of the increase in crime. The cars being broken into and nothing taken are due to the other people leaving things in the car. Breaking a window is relatively quite and quick to do so it's easy to knock out several vehicles in one parking lot and then move on. It is not the establishment's duty to protect you, your valuables (including car) or inform you that you should be responsible for it yourself. If I come to your house, and someone breaks into my vehicle, is it your responsibility? Before anyone mentions their affluent neighborhood they live in, those are much better pickings for criminals. Crime happens everywhere, not just in the "ghetto". One has to be constantly aware of the surroundings, watching for signs and trying to not put themselves into higher risk problems. Vehicles with no trunk should get a lockbox. Walk to your vehicle with your keys in your hand, paying attention to who is around you, around your car, etc. not gossiping on the phone. The most important thing a person can learn today is that it is their own responsibility to protect themselves! Objects can be replaced, lives cannot. Law Enforcement cannot be there to take care of everyone, they usually are only able to show up afterwards to write a report. Law abiding citizens should take quality training on self defense, including firearms training and always be prepared!
North Georgia Weather July 10, 2011 at 05:41 PM
I'm not suggesting that anyone protect me, but security camera's would go a long way toward catching the criminal. And really, what am I suppose to do to protect my vehicle? Armed guard? It apparently doesn't matter if they can see inside the vehicle or not, they'll still break the window even if nothing is there.
TheLaw July 10, 2011 at 10:55 PM
I've already offered a suggestion for your specific type vehicle. You purchase a lockbox and place valuables in there. If you're asking how to protect your vehicle as a whole, their really isn't a way. That's why you pay for insurance. Deciding where you park, close to the store, lighted areas, etc.. can help. Requiring establishments to add security cameras simply raise the cost/fee of that location for everyone who goes there and in the end, all they do is provide evidence that the crime occurred. Evidence that is often useless as the thief is never caught. Having a grainy video of a guy in a hooded sweatshirt taken from 20-30 feet away is pretty much useless. If you want every location to pay a person to sit there and monitor the cameras, again you add cost to everyone and again, that person would simply dial 9-11 and alert Law Enforcement that a crime was occurring. Businesses aren't going to take on the risk/liability of hiring people to actually try to stop these thieves. Now, you're back to having grainy video of some guy breaking your window.
North Georgia Weather July 10, 2011 at 11:16 PM
You don't even know what vehicle I have! So what I'm hearing is that it's all pretty hopeless and we need to start taking the law in our own hands. Not sure that's going to go over too well in some cases. And most businesses have security camera's anyway, they seem to be fairly effective in helping to catch criminals. You don't have to run outside and try to catch the criminals yourself, video evidence should be enough for good leads. My video camera would have an excellent video from 20-30 feet, and even further. I think each business have some level of responsibility to protect their customers and their customers property, it's only in their best interest in order for me to continue frequenting their establishment. If I think something is going to happen to me or my property each time I go, I won't go.
TheLaw July 10, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Daculaweather - I mistakenly confused you with the other poster who mentioned they had a SUV. Please point out where I said to take the law into our own hands? What would we do? Attack or possibly shoot a thief stealing a handful of change out of cup holder? If you did that, you'd quite right that it wouldn't work out too well. I think I said you do the best you can do and the rest is left up to chance. I am suggesting that people pay more attention to their surroundings, and be prepared to defend one-selves if necessary. As the economy continues to get worse, the level of crime will increase. The more desperate one is, the more they are willing to do to get what they want. If I saw someone committing a crime, I would alert the authorities and try to give the best information I could to aid them in stopping the person, up to and including following or attempting to stop the person if the situation presented itself. Of course, this all is relative. I'm not going to try to physically stop someone with force over a stolen shirt. I would trying use force against someone that was attacking a person. Different levels of response for different events. I also know my capabilities and their limits. I am simply pointing out that it should not be the businesses responsibility and I again, ask if it would be your responsibility if my vehicle was broken into if I was on your property? Outside of you physically being the person that did the break-in, I say it isn't your responsibility.
North Georgia Weather July 10, 2011 at 11:58 PM
I'm not saying it's their responsibility if my vehicle is broken into, but as a business, they do have a certain level of responsibility for the safety of their customers. If a customer gets hurt in their parking lot, they would most certainly have to assume some level of responsibility for that accident.
Cathy Colquitt July 11, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Just to clarify - I never blamed Gold's for the break-in. I do agree with DaculaWeather - I know that they are not required to give me notice of these events. However, I do think that they should have communicated more with their members that this was going on....simply because it would have been the right thing to do. I do appreciate the tips, and believe me - I am being SOOO much more cautious. To 'TheLaw' - I appreciate that you would be willing to step in and at least get a description - instead of going about your business. I will reiterate that I do NOT agree that people are 'asking for it'. I just think it is ridiculous (and maybe a little behind the times) to tell a victim of a crime that they asked for it. Please remember - hindsight is 20/20 - it is always easy to judge someone after events happen and tell them what they should have done differently. On a good note - the policeman that came to the scene and the ones I spoke to later were wonderful - very nice and helpful - I was impressed. Also - the manager at Fatso's (in front of the gym) - was very helpful too - he was the one that noticed the damage to the cars and called the police.
TheLaw July 11, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Only if it was due to negligence on the part of the business. A thief in their parking lot is not due to their negligence. They would not be responsible for someone driving a vehicle in their parking lot and running over a member. If that was to happen, would you expect Gold's to warn every member that there is a potential for begin ran over by a car in a parking lot? For arguments sake, if they would have posted flyers and handed one out to each member as they entered alereting them to the fact that cars can be broken into while sitting in a parking lot, what would it have changed for you? What course of action would you have taken differently?
Cathy Colquitt July 11, 2011 at 02:34 AM
To THELAW: I really don't mean to argue - but If they handed out flyers or sent a mass email - I honestly do believe it would have helped. I had no idea that this had been going on in that parking lot. I have not noticed anything in the Gwinnett Paper. Only after it happened to me - and after the police told me about the number of break-ins - did I do some on-line searches and found this site. If I knew about it before hand - I definitely would have been more aware of what was going on around me as I was leaving my car, and I know I would not have left my purse. I also think if the people knew this was going on in that area, they would be more aware as well and likely to report suspicious activity ...instead of seeing something and thinking "oh - its probably nothing". It is always good to get this info out. People should be aware.
Jimmy Orr July 11, 2011 at 01:49 PM
TheLaw, I have read your comments and find same interesting. Being three quarters of a century old I learned long ago to be aware of my surroundings. You mentioned a lockbox in several of your postings. I would apprecaite your bringing me up to "snuff' on the lockbox you speak of. Would it be a small safe, so to speak, which would be bolted the floor of the trunk in a passenger car or bolted to the floor in the cargo space of a SUV? If not bolted down, would the thief be able pick up the lockbox and make off with it? Another question I have is why couldn't a facility such as a fitness center offer lockboxes w/keys to their customers for storing valuables during their workout with the lockboxes to be placed at the front desk until called for by the customer as is done in many places of lodging or onboard ship?
Diane July 11, 2011 at 02:03 PM
You may not like what I said, but it is the truth. We cannot expect others to keep us safe when we foolishly leave things in our cars. I have had people tell me when walking they left their keys under the wheel well. They were suprised when someone broke into or stole their car. They also cannot understand why they shouldn't walk alone. It is like they think they have a or should have a police officer at their disposal. Wake up people. Take responsibility for your own life.
Diane July 11, 2011 at 02:04 PM
PS. It is not just the gym where this occurred. It is everywhere, because criminals move around.
TheLaw July 11, 2011 at 03:21 PM
OK, so if I understand you correctly, the business should have told you via a flyer that it's not a good idea to leave your purse in your vehicle?
TheLaw July 11, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Lockboxes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are used as a secure storage for a firearm in a vehicle. Others used for purses, money, etc.. Jeeps use them often since they have the cloth tops and are easily broken into. SUVs as well. They can be bolted under a seat, or in the rear cargo area. Some aren't bolted but are secured by a heavy duty cable. You remove a bolt in your car seat mount to the floor and slip on the cable. A thief isn't going to take the time to mess with trying to cut it or get it loose. Again though, the real issue is being aware. We are all busy people. We all have a long to-do list that requires us to rush from here to there and multi-task along the way however one must take their head out of the email on the Smart Phone. quit being 100% enveloped in the phone call and open their eyes and ears to their surroundings. If something seems out of place, it probably is. See a guy in hooded sweatshirt when it's 90% out, he's probably up to no go. Lock your doors, hide valuables or take them with you. Learn how to defend yourself and be prepared. There is a big difference between being prepared and being paranoid. I also agree that a feature that an establishment such as a Gym should have is lockers/lockbox. I would not require them to provide them however. If it was a feature that was very important to me, I would look for a gym that offered that, passing on those that didn't offer the feature.
TheLaw July 11, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Right. In that parking lot where Golds is at, there are several businesses. Fatso, a Dry Cleaner and a few others. Who says it's Golds job to alert people that park in that lot of the issues? Why wouldn't it be the dry cleaners? or Fatso? I believe it drives home my point that we shouldn't need someone to tell us that if we leave valuables in our car that there is a chance that they may be stolen. That just seems to fall under the category of common sense.
North Georgia Weather July 11, 2011 at 03:56 PM
A gun will be my next purchase, you convinced me so MrLaw. I will protect myself since the police or no one else is going to do it. Buy safes, guns, barricade yourself in your house, learn self defense. THAT is exactly what I hear you say.
Diane July 11, 2011 at 04:10 PM
Why is it that people are so self absorbed they cannot take the truth. He didn't say barricade, he said be aware. The police can't be with you 24 hours a day following you and they can't catch every criminal. Fact of life. Just like you can't be with each child after they leave the classroom. Every aspect of life required you be responsible for yourself. For instance, just because you have insurance and have a doctor prescribed by the plan doesn't mean you don't have to do anything. These days you have to be your own advocate. You have to check out prices and procedures to make sure you are aware of what your cost may be. Same here in safety. You have to be aware at all times to protect yourself and loved ones. But that is not trying to make you paranoid, just smart. The smarter you are, the less likely you are to be hit by criminals. Don't take our word for it. Ask you insurance company. I bet they aren't fond of replacing the items you leave in your car.
North Georgia Weather July 11, 2011 at 04:21 PM
I do all of those things. I don't generally leave valuables in my car. I take responsibility for myself. But when I have to buy a safe for my car... to me that's going a little too far. I could possibly understand if I carried valuables all the time but that would be the exception. You can't protect yourself from everything obviously. If someone wants to break into my car, they're going to do it. If someone wants in my house, they're going to do it. I can have alarms, watch dogs, it doesn't matter what I do if someone wants my possessions bad enough. I'm not suggesting that businesses all install camera's. I'm suggesting that if you're a business, you should consider installing camera's for the safety of your patrons. Camera's are a simple deterrent that can potentially head off any criminal activity.
TheLaw July 11, 2011 at 04:56 PM
Well then you aren't listening. If you aren't willing to listen objectively, there is nothing else I can say to help you.
North Georgia Weather July 11, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Here's the other problem (my problem?). I grew up where no one had to lock their doors, kids roamed everywhere, every neighbors house was home. We didn't have technology stored in our cars or our homes. I don't remember anyone breaking into a car (I'm sure it happened) but in 1973 I had my trunk broken into after I left my car at a parking area way up in the Smokies, the Rangers said later they would have told me not to leave it there. But the point is I grew up in a time when people respected each other more. People whine about their personal freedoms now but I think I had more back then, it sure feels like it. I hear about all of the precautions that I now have to take and talk of a safe for my car... and all of a sudden I don't "feel" very free any more. So if I get a little agitated with some of this talk, it's not because I disagree with any of you, I know it's necessary, it's because it angers me to my core to think that I HAVE to do all of those things. I just got back from the mountains... maybe it's time to move there, I'd rather deal with a bear than a criminal.
TheLaw July 11, 2011 at 09:16 PM
I miss the good ol' days too. However, those days are gone. As I was growing up, I was taught to work hard for things, treat people with respect, return a borrowed item in the same or better shape than when I took it, etc. etc. Today, people are taught that others should be providing for them. When they don't get things provided for them, they feel it's OK to go and take them. As I stated earlier, too many people just aren't aware and it make it very easy on the criminal, emboldening them to do it more often. Also, back in the day, a thief who was caught could have been beaten by the owner and when the Cops came, they would have arrested the bad guy and patted the owner on the back. Today, the criminal can sue the owner for mental anguish. It really is a sad state of affairs. The only option, as I see it, is to be prepared as best one can and do they best they can to protect themselves and their property. Everything else is left up to chance.

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