4:00pm Saturday 8th March 2014
By Paul Nizinskyj
A FAMILY had to borrow clothes to go home in after their possessions were stolen from a locker at a swimming pool.
A thief stole Dee Harrison’s handbag and clothes, and those of husband, Nick, and children Josh, Billy and Gabriella, as they swam at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre.
The locker door was one of at least two police say were forced open on the same day.
Mrs Harrison, 35, of Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend, said the centre had given her a staff tracksuit and supplied her children with T-shirts because they had no clothes to wear home.
She said: “We had everything in that locker – car keys, house keys, phones, cash and cards.
“Altogether there was about £1,500 of stuff. I even had a payslip from work in my bag.
“It’s scary how much personal stuff you carry around with you.”
After going to the centre’s reception desk in his trunks to complain, Mr Harrison was driven home by an employee to collect spare keys after using a house key kept by a neighbour to get in.
Mrs Harrison said pool operation Legacy Leisure had a responsibility to review security at the centre, because she felt it had been too easy for thieves to help themselves to customers’ property.
However, Legacy general manager David Taylor said: “We take security extremely seriously. We informed the police as soon as we became aware of the incident.
“We continue to work closely with them and we will be providing CCTV footage as part of the investigation.
“While the leisure centre is accessible to all members of the public, our team regularly checks the changing areas and we regard the recent theft as an isolated incident.
“However, we will now be stepping up staffing levels, particularly at busy periods, and would encourage customers to be vigilant at all times.”
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