A gym heist in London goes cyber

A thief has been stalking London. 

This past summer, multiple women reported similar crimes to the police: While working out at their local gyms, someone snuck into the locker rooms, busted open their locks, stole their rucksacks and gym bags, and then, within hours, purchased thousands of pounds of goods. Apple, Selfridges, Balenciaga, Harrod’s—the thief has expensive taste. 

At first blush, the crimes sound easy to explain: A thief stole credit cards and used them in person at various stores before they could be caught. 

But for at least one victim, the story is more complex.  

In August, Charlotte Morgan had her bag stolen during an evening workout at her local gym in Chiswick. The same pattern of high-price spending followed—the thief spent nearly £3,000 at an Apple store in West London, another £1,000 at a separate Apple store, and then almost £700 at Selfridges. But upon learning just how much the thief had spent, Morgan realized something was wrong: She didn’t have that much money in her primary account. To access all of her funds, the thief would have needed to make a transfer out of her savings account, which would have required the use of her PIN. 

“[My PIN is] not something they could guess… So I thought ‘That’s impossible,'” Morgan told the Lock and Code podcast. But, after several calls with her bank and in discussions with some cybersecurity experts, she realized there could be a serious flaw with her online banking app. “But the bank… what they failed to mention is that every customer’s PIN can actually be viewed on the banking app once you logged in.”

Today on the Lock and Code podcast with host David Ruiz, we speak with Charlotte Morgan about what happened this past summer in London, what she did as she learned about the increasing theft of her funds, and how one person could so easily abuse her information. 

Tune in today to also learn about what you can do to help protect yourself from this type of crime. 

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Show notes and credits:

Intro Music: “Spellbound” by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
Outro Music: “Good God” by Wowa (