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CRASBO for gym thief

A thief described as the “scourge of West Midlands’ gym-goers” after plundering up to 100 changing room lockers has been banned from every leisure centre and health club in the region. Lee Lynch, from Chilvers Grove in Kingshurst, Solihull, was jailed for 56 weeks at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday, January 27, after admitting breaking into lockers and stealing wallets, cash and mobile phones.

And as part of his sentence he has been ordered to steer clear of any sports centre, swimming baths, gym or hotel leisure complex until January 2016 – or risk being sent back to prison.

The four-year CRASBO – Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order – also restricts him from the grounds and buildings of any school, university or college campus in the West Midlands without the prior approval of a police representative.

Investigating officer PC Paul Dempsey from Solihull Police, said: “This order, which runs until 26 January 2016, is essential to curb Lynch’s offending pattern.

“He has been the scourge of gym-goers and has been convicted of 143 offences in and around the West Midlands area…many of these have been thefts from leisure centre lockers.

At Friday’s hearing the court heard how, on September 20, Lynch walked into Meadowside Leisure Centre in Burton-on-Trent and used a screwdriver to prise open changing room lockers. He then hid in a cubicle and pinched £12 in loose change from trouser and coat pockets.

The 48-year-old also admitted stealing a watch, iPhone and Blackberry from the bags of pupils visiting Walsall Leisure Centre for a PE class on October 6, plus snatching a lap-top from a Student Union recruitment stall at Aston University on October 10.

Lynch raided numerous lockers at Wyndley Leisure Centre last July and was handed a 32-week prison term, suspended for two years, by magistrates on August 12 last year for similar offences across Solihull and Birmingham.

That suspended tariff was triggered by his most recent thefts and counted towards his 56-week sentence.

PC Dempsey, added: “The courts have given Lynch ample opportunity to change his ways, by imposing suspended sentences and offering support services, but he has continued to offend.

“This order now bans him from his hunting grounds in the West Midlands…and, upon his prison release, if he ignores the conditions he can expect to be hauled back into custody.”


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