A 59 year-old foreign Caucasian man walkedinto Energia Fitness Club located along Merchant Road on Thursday, acted interested in a membership, before walking into the male toilet and making off with cash, credit cards and mobile devices.

However, thanks to vigilant Singaporeans and a tracking device in the iPad that the thief had stolen, the foreign thief was soon tracked down in just 3 hours, who handed him over to the police.

Recounting the incident yesterday, Mr Gaston Ng, a physical fitness trainer whose iPad was used to track down the whereabouts of the foreign thief, and 40-year-old Energia gym owner Mohamed Fazlon, said that after the man left, clients came to him to complain about stolen valuables. Money was also fraudulently withdrawn using one of the stolen ATM cards.

The former bouncer said he remembered a suspicious-looking Caucasian man – who was not a regular – walking in around lunchtime. “He spent 10 minutes in the locker room; I thought he was using the toilet.”

He later got an image of the man through CCTV footage. While a police report was lodged, Mr Fazlon decided to track down the suspect.

With Mr Ng, another trainer and two clients, they drove down to Little India. It was along the way that the signal from Mr Ng’s iPad disappeared. “It was like a movie. Suddenly, there was no more signal. He may have switched it off,” Mr Fazlon said.

But the group persisted, splitting up to scout at mobile-device shops and a nearby hotel. A man matching the CCTV image was found at a shop, trying to sell a laptop.

The police arrived about eight minutes later, Mr Fazlon said, and when the suspect tried to brush off the officer, he decided to step in.

“I appeared in front of him and said: ‘Don’t you remember me? You went “shopping” in my gym.’ I could see his face change then,” said Mr Fazlon.

Police searched the suspect’s bag and, besides finding various gadgets, also discovered various tools like a crowbar and cutters, Mr Fazlon added.

Police investigations are ongoing.

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