Using the keys stolen from the “key board” of a Cumming gym, authorities say that a Marietta man broke into two local residents’ vehicles last week, stole credit cards and made multiple purchases before returning the car keys unnoticed.
According to a report from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, on Tuesday, July 9, deputies responded to the Planet Fitness, at 129 Merchant Square in Cumming, and spoke with a woman who stated that after working out at the gym, she received a message from her bank that possible fraudulent activity had been detected on her credit card.
The woman told deputies that before working out she left her purse inside her locked vehicle and placed her keys onto the gym’s “key board,” where customers can hang up their keys as they work out.
“[The woman] said that while she was working out someone must have taken her car key off the board and used it to open her vehicle,” the report states. “[The woman] said after they entered her vehicle they must have replaced the key on the board because she never realized her keys were missing.”
The report states that in less than an hour, a thief had charged more than $1,600 to the woman’s credit cards at multiple different stores in the Cumming area.
At about that same time on July 9, another report states that officers with the Cumming Police Department were contacted by another local woman with a similar story.
Police officers were told that after working out at the Planet Fitness, the second woman was alerted that her cards were used to make purchases at the Target store on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming.
Like the first woman, the second woman told investigators that her car was locked at the time of the theft and her keys were left hanging on the gym’s “key board.”
After being contacted by her bank, the woman reportedly visited the Target and was informed by staff members at the service desk that, “they could not tell her who used the card but informed her they knew who it was,” the report states.
While these incidents were being investigated, a “notorious” entering-auto suspect, Brandon Simpkins, 28, of Marietta was located and stopped by deputies at a nearby Lowe's store, the report states.
Simpkins was later taken into custody and, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater, the man has been charged in connection with the two July 9 incidents at Planet Fitness.
Simpkins faces two felony counts of theft entering autos, two felony counts for theft of financial transaction card and nine felony counts of financial transaction fraud.
Rainwater said that Simpkins is being held in the Forsyth County Jail under no bond and is currently wanted by the Gwinnett County and city of Lawrenceville police departments for similar alleged crimes.