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Minneapolis Yoga Studios Changing Policies After Being Targeted By Thieves Taking Advantage Of ‘Free Week’

CBS Minnesota logoCBS Minnesota 8/20/2019 Syndicated Local – WCCO | CBS Minnesota
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three YogaFit studios and Yoga Sol were all victimized by thieves picking through customers belongings while they were in class. In some cases, the thieves are taking the yoga class before they commit the crime.

There was a theft at YogaFit Loring Park location in June, a theft at the Linden Hills location in January, and a theft at the Northeast location last October. Then there was another theft in June at YogaSol in Northeast Minneapolis.

“People have been coming in and applying for a free week of classes and then leaving early and then taking members valuables out of our cubbies,” said Ashok Dhariwal, the owner of the YogaFit locations in Linden Hills and Loring Park, “They’ll actually attend a class and say they need to leave early, the teacher has to keep the class going so that’s usually how it happens.”

Now, there are signs all over the YogaFit studios telling members to bring their valuables into the class with them and do not leave them in the cubbies. Many mats in the 12 p.m. YogaFit Linden Hills class had keys, wallets and purses next to them on Tuesday.

“It was unnerving to know that the person was actually here in the classroom,” said Laurie Wien, a YogaFit member.

“It doesn’t align with yoga at all and people who practice yoga,” said Taylor Osland, a YogaFit member.

Members of YogaSol had credit cards stolen while they were in class. After this theft happened, the studio no longer allows people to audit or observe while classes are in-session.

Minneapolis Police are investigating and viewing surveillance footage that was captured at all the YogaFit locations.

“The police have all the video from all the different studios. It should end soon and they’ll get caught,” said Dhariwal.


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