10 DC Yoga Studios, Gyms Burglarized in Past Month

Police seek a person of interest captured in surveillance video at one of the yoga studios

D.C. police are warning yoga studios and gyms to heighten security after 10 studios and gyms across the District have been burglarized in the past month.

The Bikram Hot Yoga location in the Ivy City neighborhood, about a half-mile northeast of Gallaudet University, was burglarized June 22. Surveillance video released by D.C. police shows a man enter the studio and appear to go through desk drawers in the lobby.

"He broke into our register, and he broke into one of our back rooms using the crowbar," said Amber Speights, the manager of Bikram Hot Yoga in Ivy City, said.

The man in the video, who police called a person of interest, is wearing a white shirt with athletic shorts and sneakers and is carrying a black backpack. Police asked for help identifying him.

“He felt very comfortable," Speights said. "He took a lot of time hanging out in here, looking around for -- I don’t know keys, money, whatever he could find.”

Police said the studios and gyms were “ransacked” in the burglaries, with money and small electronics stolen from offices.

The burglaries took place between June 11 and July 17 in these locations: 

  • 1000 block of Florida Avenue NE
  • 1500 block of Okie Street NE
  • 1700 block of 14th Street NW
  • 2300 block of 14th Street NW
  • 1300 block of Florida Avenue NW
  • 1400 block of 14th Avenue NW
  • 1900 block of 14th Avenue NW
  • 1000 block of Florida Avenue NE
  • 400 block of H Street NE
  • 3800 Northampton Street NW

Philip Koopman, the co-owner of Bicyclespace, a store next door to Bikram Hot Yoga in Ivy City, said similar incidents haven taken place in the neighborhood since he opened the store a few months ago. However, he said he is happy he operates a business in the neighborhood.

Police issued a warning advising studios and gyms to secure their businesses with surveillance and alarm systems, and to add lighting at doors, windows and gates. In the event of a burglary, police advise calling 911 and avoiding touching anything.

Despite the burglary, Speights remains optimistic.

"It's working out," she said. "It's a nice business. We're building a nice community."

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