OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Imagine finishing your workout at the gym, going back to your locker, and finding your padlock is broken and car keys gone. That’s exactly what happened to one Oklahoma City resident at a local Planet Fitness.
Interestingly enough, this was the second time Emanuel Wooten got his stuff stolen from his locker at the same gym, but this time he got a lucky break from technology.
On May 28, Wooten was at the Planet Fitness located at 2936 SW 59th St.
“After finishing my workout, I came back to my locker, noticed my bright red lock was gone, immediately looked in the locker and my stuff was gone,” Wooten explained. “I went outside because I’ve been through this before. I called the police. I looked for my car and realized my car was gone.”
Wooten joined Planet Fitness at this particular location in February. On his very first visit, his gym bag and wallet were stolen. He had no lock that day, but immediately bought one after the theft with a lesson learned.
Then four months later, that very lock was broken, his car keys were missing, and he had no idea where his car was or who was driving it.
“I was mad, especially considering this was the second time,” he said. “I was really mad. I went into straight panic mode.”
As police rushed to the scene, Wooten remembered something crucial to help officers search for the suspect. His tablet was in his Hyundai Elantra, hidden between the driver’s seat and center console. He used an app on his smartphone to track the tablet.
Oklahoma City Police Department officers easily tracked Preston Gibson and the stolen Hyundai about 5 miles away at Southeast 44th St. and South Oklahoma Ave.
Wooten was taken to the scene of the capture.
“It was crazy because I’ve never even seen this guy before,” Wooten said. “He wasn’t even dressed like he was going to the gym. He had some jean shorts on and some flip flops. It just blew my mind how he was able to get into the locker room and he’s not a member there. He admitted he was not a member at that gym.”
Though confused about how all this could even happen, Wooten’s just grateful this crazy story ended well.
“It’s wild,” he expressed. “I’m just glad I got my car back. That’s all that really mattered to me.”
Gibson has been charged by the District Court of Oklahoma County with the criminal felony of unauthorized use of a vehicle (motor vehicle theft).
KFOR reached out to Planet Fitness about the incident.
The Director of Public Relations provided the following statement.
“At Planet Fitness, the safety and security of our members and employees is our top priority, and the local franchise group is aware of the incident that took place at the Oklahoma City location on SW 59th Street. For additional information, we direct you to the local authorities.”
Wooten remains an active member of Planet Fitness, only swearing to never again go to the branch where his car was stolen from.