SPOKANE, Wash. - After six months of investigations, Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies believe they have found the man responsible for a string of gym thefts.
From keys, wallets, and even firearms, whatever was in sight, officials believe the suspect didn't hesitate to steal it.
South Hill Gold's Gym employee Tyler Barranger said Ilya Glushchenko, 24, told front desk employees he needed to use the restroom.
That's when he went into the locker room and allegedly stole valuables.
Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said he mostly targeted the South Hill, but he also stole from gyms in North Spokane, Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake. Some locks where cut, but most items were in unsecured lockers. There were a total of 19 different victims.
"Some of the victims he would actually take their keys, walk around the parking lot with the key fob with the alarm, trying to figure out car it belonged to and getting into those vehicles," Chamberlin said.
Investigators said Glushchenko would almost immediately buy $500 Visa gift cards with the stolen credit cards. They were able to get a hold of surveillance video footage from several of the retail stores showing Glushchenko using the cards.
Since the incident, Gold's Gym has made some changes.
"We've really tightened up on that policy you know, if you're coming in just to use the restroom we won't allow that," said Barranger.
Deputies said this is just another lesson.
"It doesn't matter where it's at, it could be the trail head, your gym, office whatever it is don't leave valuables in plain sight," Chamberlin said.
Gold's Gym employees are relieved the suspected thief has been caught, But are still stunned it happened in the first place.
"This is your neighborhood gym. Pretty much everyone knows one another. When you come in we recognize who you are," said Barranger.
Glushchenko is currently being held in Kootenai County on unrelated charges. However, when he was arrested several of the stolen cards were in his possession. He will be transferred to Spokane County when he is done with his stay in Kootenai County.
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