01 September 2008

My Wallet Was Stolen

Yesterday started off as the best day I've had in a very long time. I woke up before Ashley did, and having the itch to see her smile when she woke up, I made her breakfast. Nothing major, just scrambled eggs, toast and her protein drink. Everything went according to plan, and as I walked into her room, she saw me walk up with her breakfast. Very delighted she was, indeed. The day went by pretty much without a hitch, and we left her house so that we could go shopping and so that my brother and I could go to the gym together. All was well, stopping off at Walmart first off HW-79S, then stopping off to get gas at the local Shell station, and finally picking my brother up and heading to the LA Fitness off Winchester Rd in Temecula.
My brother and I checked into the LA Fitness while Ashley stayed in the car around 5:45p (she did not feel like going in, and instead had some other shopping to do in a couple stores in the same shopping center anyways). Now, when I go to LA Fitness, I usually change my clothes in the locker room, making sure to lock my stuff in the clothing lockers they provide with my combination lock, which no other soul knows the combination to but me. No other person was in the same locker isle as my brother and I was, and the locker room was pretty much empty. I locked the lock, jiggled it to double-check, and proceeded to the restrooms and off to the balcony where he and I worked out on the bicycles for little over half an hour.
After the bikes we walked back down and worked out using the bench press, then leg press, then curls using free weights, and finally using the pectorial fly machine. We had worked out a total of about an hour to an hour and a half. When we were done, both he and I walked back to the locker room so that I could change back into my normal street clothes, and as I approached the locker I noticed that the lock was clean gone and nowhere to be found on the ground. I opened the locker and saw my stuff, including my glasses, and immediately reached for my wallet and keys that I had left in the pockets of my shorts. My keys were there (minus the car keys, since Ashley had them), but my wallet was gone.
Incredibly angry, I told my brother to stand guard next to the locker while I went to the front desk, my heart and mind in a total panic. After explaining the situation to the LA Fitness representative, named Benjamin, I asked to see the manager. The manager was busy at the time, so I went back to the locker, changed my clothes, fully enraged. Gathering what stuff I had left, I returned to the front desk, and proceeded to call Wells Fargo to close and cancel my debit and credit card, both of which were in my wallet, among other things like over $120 in cash, my CSUSM school ID, my California driver's license, and other very important personal information. In fact, the personal information was so important, my entire livelihood was in jeopardy for the rest of my life.
After canceling the cards, the Wells Fargo credit card representative and I noticed that in the span of time that I was in the gym, the thief already had used my credit card at a nearby gas station, making charges twice within a few minutes time - one at 6:49pm and another at 6:52pm. At the time the transactions only noted $1, but this was normal until the full amount was posted when the credit card terminals that were used were closed out for the day. I proceeded to file an incident report with LA Fitness, and moved on to call the Temecula Police to file a police report.
When Deputy Horn of the Temecula Police Department arrived around 8:30p, I explained the situation, called Wells Fargo again and received more information about the credit card transactions that were performed just prior to my calling and cancelling the cards, and she gave me her card with the case number on it. We also went to the gas station that reportedly was used to verify my credit card was working (oh, by the way, that's what credit card thieves do: they steal your credit card, go to a gas station and use the pumps' credit card terminals to perform small transactions to ensure that the cards are still working before racking up huge bills). Hoping that they had cameras, we were unable to see any footage until the manager arrived at 5am today (to which I still have not gotten any information because today was labor day and Deputy Horn was unavailable when I called).
I have since put out fraud alerts and credit monitoring on my credit, and have begun the arduous process of trying to rebuild my life.My only hope is that whoever did this to me gives up and returns my stuff soon, as I will go after them and I will not stop until I've found them, and I will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law - mark my words.

Update 9/3/08: Well, I managed to find out finally how much the idiot racked up on my credit card: the first transaction he tried at the gas station was $44.51 and the second transaction was $50, totaling to $94.51. Good thing I stopped the card when I did, and also luckily I had Wells Fargo who was understanding enough to know that the transactions were fraudulent and thus I was not responsible for them. Thank goodness!

1 comment:

AJ said...

Hey Sean. I'm terribly sorry that your wallet was stolen. If you ask me I think the liability should fall on LA Fitness.

I seriously hope you catch the bastards.