Gym thief who stole £180,000 of cars and valuables from upmarket health clubs is jailed

Hanley was sentenced in Warwick (David Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

A conman who stole almost £180,000 worth of valuables from wealthy gym goers by blagging his way into upmarket health clubs has been jailed.

Christopher Hanley, 44, tricked his way into the changing rooms at leisure centres and golf clubs across the UK.

He stole cash, wallets, designer watches and car keys but was caught when a Range Rover he stole had a tracker device attached which led police to his home.

Over a two-year period, Hanley stole £177,000 worth of valuables and cars from health clubs across the Midlands, Worcester, Oxfordshire and the south of England.

He was found guilty of 14 charges including various offences of theft, fraud and attempted burglary after a trial at Warwick Crown Court.

Christopher Hanley, who was jailed for more than five years (SWNS)

Hanley, of Coventry, was jailed for five-and-a-half years on Thursday .

Recorder Martin Butterworth told him: “Your record demonstrates that you have become a man who is a professional criminal.

His accomplice Justin Poyner, 47, of Canley, Coventry, was convicted of two of the thefts and one of the fraud offences. He was remanded in custody.

Prosecutor Graham Russell said: “The main mechanism by which they perpetrated their offences was to drive to gyms and health clubs up and down the country in a certain red Volvo.

“Invariably it would be Poyner who drove and Hanley who would get out of the car and go into the gym.

“He would either try to blag his way in using a false name or simply stroll past reception into the changing room.

“There he would select a likely locker, and that locker would be broken into and wallets, keys and other possessions removed.”

Mr Russell said that in September 2014 Hanley went to the Mapledurham Golf Club in south Oxfordshire where he broke into a locker in the changing room and stole a wallet, iPhone and keys.

He then stole the owner’s Range Rover from the car park, and bank cards from the wallet were later found under his bed at his mother’s home.

His accomplice was Justin Poyner, who will be sentenced at a later date (SWNS)

In September 2016, after serving a 28-month sentence imposed in 2015, Hanley targeted a gym in Phoenix Way, Coventry, where he stole keys and other property from a locker before taking a BMW from the car park.

Some of that property was later found at an address in Heddle Grove, Coventry, where both men were living at the time.

The next month he returned to the Mapledurham Golf Club and again broke into a locker before stealing a car from outside.

Later that day the two men drove to the David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Bromsgrove, where Hanley stole a gym goer’s Range Rover from the car park.

Among their various hauls were an expensive Tag Heur watch, cars and bank cards.

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