On Friday, April 20, 2018 about 2:00 p.m., an officer assigned to the Lake Elsinore Police Department responded to the LA Fitness gym reference a theft investigation. The victim reported a loss of personal property from his locker within the facility. A list of stolen property, to include a laptop computer, wedding band and gift cards from Costco were among other items stolen. At the time of the initial investigation, no suspect leads were developed.
On April 30, 2018, an investigator working patrol was dispatched to a follow-up investigation where the victim of the theft was reporting his stolen Costco gift cards were used at the Costco store in Lake Elsinore. The investigator obtained surveillance video of the suspect and developed other investigative leads. An “Attempt to Identify” flyer was generated and presented to staff at LA Fitness.
On May 3, 2018, the investigator received a call from a manager at LA Fitness advising a member of the club recognized the suspect and observed the suspect currently inside LA Fitness. This club member observed the suspect open lockers inside the men’s locker room and remove a wallet from a locker. With the assistance of club employees, the suspect was detained. A uniformed officer responded to LA Fitness and detained the suspect.
The suspect was transported to the Lake Elsinore Police Station for further investigation. Subsequently, search warrants were served in San Jacinto and Lake Elsinore. The initial victim’s laptop computer was recovered, along with 15 men’s watches, and 10 high value men’s wallets. Property belonging to another victim was recovered, who stated his property was stolen from a locker in a LA Fitness gym in Oceanside, California. Other property was also recovered.
The suspect, identified as Brandan Morales Rodriguez, 29- years old and a resident of Lake Elsinore was booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on charges of Burglary and Possession of Stolen Property.
The burglary investigation is continuing and anyone who may have been a victim of a theft at LA Fitness is encouraged to contact Lead Investigator Carranza at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station at 951-245-3300.
Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.