J.B. O’Thief: Robberies in women’s locker room

The women’s locker room in the J.B. O’Keefe Fitness Centre on St. Thomas University’s campus has been the site of multiple thefts over the past few weeks.

Victims have reported bags, kept in unlocked lockers, had been sifted through and they were missing everything from clothing to electronics.

Sarah Hickman is one of many women who had her things taken from the locker room. Hickman reported losing her black Aldo wallet, a green cardigan, a gold watch and a pair of white Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. That was back in January.

Hickman said while she normally locks up her belongings, the thief happened to strike at the right time.

“I forgot my lock one day, and I asked people and they were like, ‘Yeah, I leave my stuff there all the time,’ so I thought it would be OK,” said Hickman.

Another student, Maria Pérez, caught the thief in action. She returned to the locker room after her workout to find someone looking through her backpack.

“I didn’t say anything to her right away, I was just looking at her to see what she would do,” said Pérez.

“And then she was going through my stuff, but I didn’t tell her anything. I was just like, ‘Excuse me, I’m sorry, can you give me my backpack?’ And she just said, ‘What backpack?’ And I said, ‘That one you have there.’”

Pérez said the thief turned her backpack over and locked herself in a bathroom stall. The thief didn’t manage to take anything from her.

“I didn’t know how to react,” said Pérez.

“I always feel like that stuff always happens to everybody else, but it’s like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t happen,’ but at that moment it was like, ‘Wow, that actually could happen to me.’”

Adriana Figueroa said she no longer feels secure leaving her things at the gym after a thief took her phone charger from her bag and went through her wallet.

“I think [the gym] might need to [install] some cameras or something, because I’m not the only one. It’s really common, and only in the girls locker room,” she said.

Figueroa said she reported it to the front desk afterwards and was told they would keep an eye on it, but she was never asked to file an incident report.

STU athletics director Mike Eagles couldn’t be reached for a comment on the gym’s position regarding the thefts.

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