Keep an eye on your personal belongings, yogis! A man has been charged with allegedly stealing unattended wallets while people are in yoga class at several studios in Berkley, CA. Heinous! According to the news report, 20-year-old Christopher D. Newton would use a false name and information on his registration form and then when everyone goes into class to let go of their identities, he goes ahead and steals them!
A phone number Newton used a couple of times on registration forms, plus being positively identified by yogis via a photo line-up was how the culprit was nabbed. Before that though, the sticky mat bandit allegedly burglarized four yoga studios, a capoeira gym and a restaurant.
Newton “would sometimes pose as a prospective student often providing applications with false names on them to gain access to the studios,” according to the police. He’d then steal wallets and use stolen credit cards to buy stuff – and we don’t think it was a new yoga mat. Where other staff members were during the theft, we don’t know, but we can surmise that they weren’t keeping an eye on your stuff. (Granted a lot of studios have a small staff and often everyone will head into the practice room while the studio door is locked from the inside to keep out riff raff. However, if the perp IS on the inside, well then there’s your big, sad problem.)
The solution? Some of us might say, karma! What comes around goes around suckerrrrr. Others, whose identities and securities have been violated, might suggest that everyone keep their wits about them, even when in an environment you think is safe. Not that you need be afraid, but smart. If you can, pack light when heading into the studio. Use one of those cute tiny wallets, stuff it with the essentials that you could maybe even keep with you on your mat. But for the love of goddesses, keep your dang phone, far, far away.