Boardman police believe they’ve solved at least two cases of people stealing cellphones and a credit card from customers working out or playing basketball at the Boardman YMCA.
Reports said Daniel A. Watkins, 19, of Squirrel Hill Drive, was charged with first-degree misdemeanor theft, accused of stealing seven cell phones in February, mostly iPhones, from customers who left their phones unlocked at the gym.
Another man, Robert A. Seman III, 18, of Canfield, was charged in Juvenile Court with felony theft, misdemeanor theft and misusing credit cards. Seman, reports said was 17 at the time he is accused of stealing a 16-year-old boy’s father’s credit card and $10 from the boy’s unlocked locker.
“All I could say is a lot of this, 90 percent of this, could be prevented if you take the time to secure your property,” said Boardman Det. Doug Flara.
Seman, reports said, is accused of stealing the credit card March 28 then trying to use the car to fill up his gas tank with a girl at the Pilot gas station in Beaver Township. Police used surveillance video from the gas station to help identify Seman.
Watkins, reports said, admitted to investigators on April 12 to stealing the cell phones during an arranged meeting with police and his attorney. Reports said he agreed to payback money to alleged victims.
Reports said Watkins stole the phones while patrons played basketball or were working out at the gym. None were locked in lockers. Some were stored in a gym bag, pants pockets and cubbies.
A 14-year-old girl told police Feb. 25 she was playing basketball when someone came up to her and told her someone had just stolen her cellphone. The girl said she watched the man walk briskly out of the YMCA then run towards his vehicle.
A 26-year-old man reported he was using his cell phone to play music into his headphones via Bluetooth when the music stopped. The man went to look for his phone, which was gone.