When Murrieta resident Ashley Norris had her purse stolen out of her locker at the Murrieta location of L.A. Fitness, she didn’t care about the credit cards, the money, the social security card or any of the other items that had monetary value; the only thing she cared about were the toys inside the purse.
The toys weren’t just any toys after all. They belonged to her 1-year-old son Timothy, who unexpectedly passed away from an illness last year.
The first of the two toys was a series of colorful rings attached to a bird by a small tug chain. When the chain was pulled the bird would shake and buzz, according to Norris.
Norris said the other thing that Timothy loved was a yellow rubber wristband, the kind that are commonly associated with various causes.
Norris went to the gym around 11:45 a.m. on Monday, March 31. She locked her purse and its various contents inside the locker as she usually did and went to work out, assuming that everything would be fine.
However, when she returned she noticed that something unusual had happened to her locker. It was open and the contents had been cleared out save for a bobby pin that was their before she had even put her items in. That’s how she knew it was her locker and that her items had been stolen.
The burglar had not cut the lock that Norris used to prevent her items from being stolen. Instead they had cut the hinge of the locker itself in order to get inside, she said.
The next step, Norris said, was for her to go to the front desk. She inquired if the gym staff had gone into the locker for any particular reason and was told they did not.
“I told them my lock was gone, my locker had been cut and my purse was no longer there,” she said. “And they said, ‘No we didn’t cut any locks; obviously somebody stole it.’”
A staff member accompanied the theft victim back to her locker and not only verified that her items had been stolen, but that multiple lockers had been burglarized.
Since that time Norris has been back to the gym to inquire if anyone saw anything and has posted flyers at various locations to see if someone might be able to give her any information that could lead to the thief’s identity. She said she even wondered if the individual who took the toys might return them.
One way that Norris has been able to gather information is by following up on purchases that have been made on her credit card since the time it’s been stolen. She knows it’s been used at a Target in Murrieta as well as the Promenade Mall in Temecula, leading her to believe that the people who have her card are from the local
A couple using her card have been caught in a surveillance video purchasing gas at a gas station near the Promenade she said, but that hasn’t led to any definitive leads.
For now, Norris continues to post flyers in the hopes that someone might do the right thing and help her to get her son’s toys back. She said she’s aware of the possibility that the toys might have been thrown away, but that’s not stopping her from looking and trying to get the burglar to do the right thing.
“I’m sure at this point they’ve thrown them away,” she said. “But if you can go in your trashcan and pull them out if you can and drop them off if you can; I’m not going to ask any questions.”
“You can use the purse and whatever else you want inside the purse; I just want the toys back,” she said.