Laval man jailed in Gatineau for multiple locker room thefts

A Laval man has been jailed in Gatineau after confessing to stealing multiple times from gym lockers, leading to $220,000 worth of fraudulent acts.

A 32-year-old man from Laval will be spending a good part of a two-and-a-half year sentence behind bars after pleading guilty last week to a series of thefts from gymnasium lockers in Gatineau in Quebec’s Outaouais region.

Evidence showed that since early 2022, Ahmad Mroue stole 36 smartphones, 7 computer tablets, and an unspecified number of key fobs and credit cards.

Among the incriminating items seized from him by police by the time they caught up was an Interac debit and credit card reader, which could be used to complete illegal financial transactions.

Up to 15 police departments worked together on the investigation leading to Mroue’s eventual arrest.

The investigators testified that Mroue confessed to having carried out $220,000 worth of fraudulent acts in 16 different cities over the course of a year between January 2022 and January 2023.

Crime prevention experts warn that gymnasium locker rooms have become one of the most frequent targets for the theft of personal items, such as smartphones and wallets with debit and credit cards, because of the vulnerability of gym lockers.

They recommend using a solid and reliable lock, or simply not storing key valuables in gym lockers because of the elevated risk of theft.