September 30th, 2016

City men jailed for London gym locker thefts

Updated: 5:01 pm, Oct 08, 2015

COVENTRY thieves Paul Hughes and William Lawrence Neil have been jailed for breaking into gym lockers and stealing Rolex watches.

Hughes, 48, and Neale, 41, were sentenced to 20 months each in prison at the Old Bailey on September 25 for stealing from  the lockers at a health club in London.

They forced open two gym lockers and stole two Rolex watches and bank cards whilst the victims were working out at the gym.

On August 19 Neale attended a health club on Ropemaker Street to make enquiries about the facilities and purchase a guest pass.

At the same time two gym goers placed their Rolex watches and personal items in their lockers.

On return, both lockers had been forced open and a Rolex Millgauss watch worth £4,500 and a Rolex Daytona watch worth £11,250 were missing including bank cards and other personal items.

On August 25, Hughes attended the same gym requesting a guest pass.

The manager recognised him from CCTV footage as one of the suspects involved in the thefts on August 19.

He immediately contacted the City of London Police and showed officers an image of Hughes.

The officers attend the male changing rooms and found Hughes and arrested him on suspicion of theft.

A search of his brown Kangol bag revealed a screwdriver, a driving licence belonging to another, four loan agreements for the pawning of a number of high value watches and two gym guest passes.

Officers then conducted a search of a hotel room where Hughes was staying.

Whilst searching the room Neale entered and told officers that the Nike holdall bag which the officers had just seized as evidence belonged to him.

Neale was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal. Several items including a UK driving licence belonging to someone else and a cutting tool was seized from Neale.

Items of clothing found at the hotel also matched the ones worn by both men during the thefts.

Police Constable Mark Alston from the City of London Police said: “These men targeted upmarket gyms to steal expensive watches, bank cards and other personal items so that they could pawn them and make quick easy cash whilst causing a massive inconvenience for the victims.

“Although these thieves are now behind bars we urge gym goers to keep their valuable items such at jewellery or watches either at home or at work in a secure place before visiting the gym.”

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