Cops: Freeport man charged in gym locker thefts

Police say Latique D. Oates, 19, broke into gym lockers, stole credit card information and membership cards to big box store chains, then used the information to make purchases. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (March 6, 2013)

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He broke into gym lockers, stole credit card information and membership cards to big box store chains, then used the information to make purchases, Nassau County police said.

Latique D. Oates, 19, of 792 South Ocean Ave., Freeport, was arrested Tuesday at the XSports Fitness center on Old Country Road in East Garden City, after police said employees reported catching him stealing an iPhone from a locker there.

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During an investigation, Oates was also found to be in possession of six prepaid Visa gift cards, five Costco membership cards and a BJ's membership card -- none of them in his name, police said.

Oates, who did not work at the gym, would enter the locker rooms used by his victims, obtain credit card information without removing the cards, and then take the membership cards and use those cards and the credit card numbers to make his illegal purchases, police said.

Oates is charged with five counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument, two counts of second-degree forgery, three counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, three counts of second-degree identity theft, six counts of petit larceny, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree identity theft and third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification.

He is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead.

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Police said Oates is also being investigated for any link to similar crimes in Suffolk.

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