For many who use local health clubs and gyms, a lock is their main line of defence between their valuables, and potential thieves while they exercise – but in a growing number of cases, the locks weren’t secure enough.

It’s a measure one man doesn’t trust anymore.

After one trip to the gym, Mike returned to his locker to find it had been ransacked, all of his clothes had been taken, but his wallet left behind.

“I just don’t use the lockers anymore,” he said. “I bring my stuff that’s valuable with me.”

Stories like Mike’s aren’t unusual; police said breaking into lockers is a big problem – especially because of the usual target, wallets.

“There’s always the potential for some sort of identity theft,” Cst. Janice Schoepp said.

According to police, such thefts are difficult to predict, especially at gyms and recreation centres because there’s often a large group of people in one place, making it a crime of opportunity.

“It happens occasionally sometimes there might be more of a trend, or if someone is very busy you’ll have certain people or criminals do a number of them, and move from area to area,” Cst. Schoepp said.

Some clubs are trying to be proactive.

Servus Place in St. Albert took measures against such thefts by installing special wallet lockers that are within sight of staff in the main lobby.

“So there’s always a staff person who can keep an eye on them, so they’re in view of the public,” Diane Enger with Servus Place said.

Despite those measures, Mike said he’ll still keep his valuables with him.

“When I’m playing in the gym, I just keep it in distance that I can see it.”

With files from Jeff Harrington