Two late-night thefts at Chadwell Heath gym in last few days before lockdown
A Chadwell Heath gym manager says theft is the last thing his business needed entering another lockdown, after equipment was stolen twice in three days.
Dumbbells and kettlebells were stolen from Anytime Fitness Chadwell Heath in Freshwater Road in late-night thefts less than 48 hours apart.
Seven weights worth about £3,000 in total were stolen, the gym’s general manager Kem Ibrahim told the Post.
“We were just building business back up and then as we were closing (for lockdown) again, people starting stealing from the gym,” he said.
“It’s shocking how someone thinks it’s OK to just steal weights.”
Around 11.30pm on Sunday, November 1, two men who were not members came in to the gym.
Security footage shows one of the men seemingly pretend to work out while the other packed weights into gym bags.
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They then promptly left, within minutes of entering.
Two nights later, about 10pm on Tuesday, November 3, a lone man gained entry and stole dumbbells.
A member of the gym managed to record video of the man walking down the road with them.
Mr Ibrahim said on both occasions, the thieves sneaked in behind members of the gym, which has a fob entry system.
Masks concealed their faces.
While the gym has now closed under the current lockdown, it has increased security measures, including installing extra locks on the doors.
“We’re having tough time already, we didn’t need people coming in stealing things,” Mr Ibrahim said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the gym, which was forced to closed for four months from late March during the first lockdown.
“We’ve lost a huge amount of money,” he said,
“We lost around £40,000 in terms of revenue since the lockdown and were just starting to build everything back up.
“It’s quite scary time.
“We have a good member base, it’s very family orientated and everyone knows everyone - it’s a lovely gym in terms of the people - but lockdown made people scared to come.”
A Met Police spokesperson said enquiries into two reported thefts of gym equipment were ongoing and no arrests had been made.