Police searching for suspect in Plano fitness center locker thefts

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 12 at 9:36 AM

PLANO -- Police say it’s a crime that has gone on for months, and the suspect keeps eluding police.

“He actually doesn’t have any conversation with anybody," said Plano police spokesman Officer David Tilley. "Somehow, he gets behind the front desk and does not get questioned or checked."

Tilley said there are two warrants out for the arrest of Lonnie Roy III, the man accused of stealing from fitness center lockers. Plano police provided News 8 with surveillance video that has Roy walking into the Tom Muelenbeck Center in Plano, one center he allegedly stole from.

“We’ve actually distributed his photograph so they know what he looks like,” Tilley said.

Police said he’s hit eight times in Plano alone, and detectives say four other police agencies have inquired about Roy. In Plano, Roy is suspected or burglaries at L.A. Fitness, two 24 Hour Fitness locations, Lifetime Fitness, and the Muelenbeck Center.

Police said Roy has even disguised himself as an A/C repairman to get into the fitness centers.

Jason McLaughlin had a close encounter with Roy at a Plano 24 Hour Fitness. He knew something was up when the suspect was hanging around his locker.

“He’s just standing in front of the locker, and he has no clothes with him or anything like that, so I’m thinking, 'Something is not right with this guy,'” McLaughlin said.

He was keeping a close eye, and was there to see Roy in the act and attempting to steal his belongings. McLaughlin said Roy had his new watch in his hand when he confronted him.

“At the moment in time, I wasn’t really upset because I thought I busted him,” McLaughlin said. “He was right in my face right here and he said, ‘If you touch me, I’m going to bust your tail.’”

He said Roy picked his lock within 20 seconds and the suspect made off with lots of cash and even a debit card.

If caught, Roy would be facing felony robbery and felony theft cases because of two prior theft convictions. If you have any information, you are encouraged to call Plano police.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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