Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham gym locker thief jailed for three years

Michal Tkacz Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Each trip Michal Tkacz made to a gym would only last a few minutes, police said

A thief who used false details to join branches of a gym chain and emptied lockers across England has been jailed.

Michal Tkacz, 35, from Birmingham, took phones, watches and bank cards while customers exercised or showered nearby.

It was suspected he may have struck up to 50 times at gyms, police said. CCTV helped identify him as a suspect and he was rugby tackled to the ground after officers in the city centre saw him.

Tkacz was jailed for three years after admitting seven counts of theft.

He also pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud by false representation.

Tkacz, from Cambridge Way, used contactless cards to make numerous fraudulent shop purchases, the West Midlands force said.

He went to Somerset hoping to intercept a mobile he bought online, but the courier became suspicious when shown the victim's stolen driver's licence as proof of ID and Tkacz left empty-handed.

The force said it was suspected he may have struck up to 50 times at gyms from Manchester to London and Bristol to Leicester, but it picked up the case following offences at PureGym in Broad Street, Birmingham.

He attacked lockers and made off with members' valuables six times between February and May last year.

CCTV from the club helped officers identify Tkacz as a suspect. He was spotted by plain-clothes officers in the city centre in August and Tkacz ran off, but he was chased.

Sgt Julia Slater said: "Each trip Tkacz made to a gym would only last a few minutes; he made straight for the changing rooms to break into lockers."