St. Matthews Police investigating carjacking at Planet Fitness

St. Matthews Police investigating carjacking at Planet Fitness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A trip to the gym turned into an encounter with a loaded gun for a Louisville woman on Monday. The St. Matthews Police Department is investigating after an alleged carjacking that happened at the Planet Fitness on Shelbyville Road.

According to the police report, the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on March 29 in the parking lot of the gym. The report states the victim parked her car - a black, four-door Kia Optima - in the back of the parking lot, when a thin, white man wearing black overalls and a gray hooded sweatshirt approached her car. The report states the man opened the driver’s side door, pressed a handgun to her side and pulled her from the vehicle.

The report says the suspect then took off eastbound on Shelbyville Road.

According to the report, the victim’s 9 mm pistol was also inside the vehicle when it was stolen.

St. Matthews Police Chief Barry Wilkerson said the gym’s surveillance cameras were able to capture the incident, and detectives plan to review the video to learn more about the suspect.

The victim’s story was backed up by a Planet Fitness employee who told investigators they saw what happened.

“I think at this point, it’s a crime of opportunity,” Wilkerson said. “We’re very fortunate in St. Matthews that we don’t have a lot of violent crime. Most of ours is property crime, but sadly, most of it is reoccurring from people who we’ve arrested before, and they’re just not putting a priority on property crimes right now.”

WAVE 3 News talked to several members of the club Tuesday, including Caroline Raley, who said the news of Monday’s crime scared her.

“Terrifying,” Raley said, “you know, like I said, I’ve always felt safe here, but hearing that — it is extremely scary. Especially, I come here by myself, and sometimes I come in when it’s dark or when it’s early. So that makes me thinks twice about coming here.”

Andrew Meyer, another member of Planet Fitness, said the incident is a reminder for people to always pay attention to their surroundings.

“It can happen anywhere,” Meyer said. “So, you kind of always have to have your guard up, making sure you’re safe and you know you’re surroundings, stuff like that.”

In a statement, Planet Fitness Marketing Director Ken Horn said, “We take great pride in providing a safe environment for our members including a well-lit parking lot and video surveillance cameras. So, we were shocked and disappointed to learn of this incident. We are cooperating with local police providing video surveillance, with the goal of apprehending and prosecuting the person who committed this crime.”

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