If your new year's resolution was to hit the gym and get in shape, there's something you should know about the security of your gym locker. Or, more accurately, the lack of security. Thieves are hitting gym lockers with greater frequency. I know, because it happened to me.
You've probably seen the signs posted around the locker room: "Not responsible for lost or stolen items." But you're no fool. You went out and bought a lock, perhaps even a brand that claims to be the master of all locks, and now you're leaving your wallet, cell phone, and other personal effects in the locker room while you bust your butt for an hour. You've got it all taken care of.
Sorry to say, but a mass-produced combination lock is no impediment to a determined criminal. After my wallet was ransacked, the manager of the gym said to me, almost offhandedly, "Yeah, they can get into combination locks." Thanks for the heads up, guy.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Here some tips that can help.
Leave your important items somewhere else. If you head to the gym during work, lock up your wallet in your office. If you go from home, leave your credit and bank cards there, or lock your wallet in your car's glove compartment. Bring only your membership card into the club, if you can.
Invest in a premium lock. This seems like an extravagant expense until your mass-produced lock is picked as though it weren't even there. It's a matter of logic: If you're using the most popular lock, then isn't it also the lock most likely to be picked?
Rent a locker at the gym. Most gyms offer private lockers for a small fee. These lockers may be located in a common area, in full view of staff, where it's harder for a suspicious person to hang around.
Stay vigilant. It's human nature to keep to ourselves in a locker room. But if you see somebody doing something that just doesn't look right, say something to them or to the club staff. Criminals take advantage of your deliberate ignorance. Don't wait until you're the victim.
Check your wallet before you leave the gym. In order to buy themselves time, some thieves will take only what they need from your wallet and hope that you don't notice anything's wrong until after they've had time to run up the charges on your card. It's still a pain to replace bank and credit cards, but at least you can have the satisfaction of cancelling them before a thief can use them.