LAKE ELSINORE – The use of a Costco Gift card led to the identity of an LA Fitness theft suspect.
On Friday, April 20, 2018, at around 2:00 p.m. Lake Elsinore Police Department responded to the La Fitness gym located at 18550 Dexter Avenue in the City of Lake Elsinore. “The victim reported a loss of personal property from his locker within the facility,” Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s officials said. “A list of stolen property, to include a laptop computer, wedding band and gift cards from Costco were among other items stolen.” No information was known about the suspect involved in the theft.
The victim called authorities on April 30, 2018, to report that the stolen Costco gift cards were used at the Costco store located in Lake Elsinore. Surveillance footage was obtained showing the suspect, and an “attempt to identify” flyer was presented to LA Fitness staff. A manager at the LA Fitness called the investigator who was listed on the flyer to report that a member of the club recognized the suspect inside the LA Fitness at that time.
“This club member observed the suspect open lockers inside the men’s locker room and remove a wallet from a locker,” Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s officials said. “With the assistance of club employees, the suspect was detained.” The suspect was identified as Brandan Morales Rodriguez, 29, of Lake Elsinore. Rodriguez was transported to the Lake Elsinore Police Station for further investigation. A search warrant was served at both a San Jacinto and Lake Elsinore location. During the search, authorities found the victim’s laptop computer, 15 men’s watches, and 10 high-value men’s wallets. An Oceanside, California LA Fitness member also reported stolen property and his property was also recovered during the search.
Rodriguez was booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on charges of Burglary and Possession of Stolen Property.
The burglary investigation is continuing and anyone who may have been a victim of a theft at LA Fitness is encouraged to contact Lead Investigator Carranza at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station at 951-245-3300.
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