Updated January 16th, 2024 at 23:38 IST
Fit Crimes: UK Couple Funds Lavish Lifestyle with Stolen Bank Cards from Gym Lockers
UK couple funded luxury living by stealing bank cards from gym lockers, targeting 18 victims; arrested upon return from Paris.
A Bromley couple led a lavish lifestyle by stealing bank cards from gym lockers, funding their extravagances with the ill-gotten gains. The news disclosed that 39-year-old Ashley Singh and his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sophie Bruyne, pilfered bank and SIM cards from gym-goers' lockers while they were exercising. Over the course of a year, the couple targeted 18 individuals, exploiting stolen credit cards from changing room lockers.
The modus operandi involved maxing out the victims' credit cards on high-end technology and designer items, subsequently selling these items to finance their indulgences in luxury goods, holidays, and even acquiring a pedigree puppy, as per the Metropolitan Police.
Conversely, the victims experienced drained bank accounts, inability to use their phones, and endured significant stress and financial losses.
The couple's fairy tale came to an abrupt end when a local officer identified a pattern, flagging it to detectives specializing in economic crime. A Lewisham-based team traced the couple's phones, cars, and faces on CCTV, connecting them to each crime.
Ashley Singh and Sophie Bruyne were apprehended on January 27th of the previous year at Gatwick Airport upon returning from Paris, carrying 2,000 Euros worth of designer goods.
Detective Constable Luis Da Silva from the Met's economic crime team, who investigated the case, commented, "We understand that Londoners are concerned about theft. It's a terrible crime that causes a lot of stress, pain, and financial loss. That's why we take this crime seriously, and a whole team of us was committed to apprehending Singh and Bruyea."
Expressing empathy for the victims, Da Silva added, "You couldn't fail to be moved by the devastating impact their callous behavior had on people, and we hope that catching them offers victims a little bit of solace. I would urge anyone who has had something stolen to get in touch because we do want to drive down this crime and go after those who target the public."
The Met police, in a released statement, revealed that a total of 18 people fell victim to what the sentencing judge deemed a "wicked conspiracy." The judge highlighted the broad-reaching consequences of the pair's "wide-ranging spree," including instances where individuals no longer felt safe around strangers or suffered professionally due to the stress.
In total, there were 18 fraud reports, with 14 in the Met area, one from Sussex, one from Hertfordshire, and two reports from Cambridgeshire. The police aim to forfeit the proceeds of the couple's crimes to help compensate those who endured the ordeal.
Published January 16th, 2024 at 23:38 IST