Richard Barker Followed Men Into Gym Locker Rooms to Steal Their Car Keys, Police Say

Categories: Crime Blotter
richard-barker.jpg
MCSO
Richard Barker, who got himself (read: stole) three Mercedes vehicles in a month.
A man with five felony convictions already on his record is facing 17 new felony charges, after police found out how he stole four cars in a little more than a month.

Phoenix police say 45-year-old Richard Barker would follow men into the locker room at their gyms, wait until they locked up their stuff, then break into that locker, taking their car keys, and eventually, their cars.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, the crimes took place from December 4 to January 11, at 24 Hour Fitness locations in northeast Phoenix.

The models of the vehicles stolen aren't provided in court documents, but include a 2006 Acura vehicle, as well as Mercedes-Benz vehicles from 2001, 2002, and 2013.

The 2001 Mercedes was stolen in December, and Barker posted it on Craigslist, according to the documents. Phoenix police Sergeant Steve Martos says a man paid $8,900 cash for the car, which he was going to give to his son as a Christmas present. That is, until he tried to register the car and found out it was stolen.

Police recovered the two other Mercedes vehicles after they were found parked in apartment-complex parking lots, but Barker was caught after detectives found the Acura on Craigslist, according to the documents.

Undercover detectives met with Barker yesterday to "buy" the Acura, and Barker gave them a fake title to the car. Barker used the name of the actual vehicle owner, according to the documents.

Detectives also reviewed surveillance footage from the 24 Hour Fitness locations. Barker would walk in the gym behind the victim, and would follow them into the locker room.

Although Barker kept going into the gyms without gym bags, he left with one on four occasions.

Taking into account other things Barker allegedly stole, which were in other people's gym bags, he racked up a total of 17 felony charges, including burglary, forgery, theft, identity theft, and others.

Barker was once sentenced to seven years to life in prison in California for stealing a car, forgery, robbery, receiving stolen property, and kidnapping during a carjacking, according to the court documents.

In this case, Barker's bond was set at $75,000. It's not clear where Barker lives, although he told detectives he lives in a hotel, but wouldn't tell them which hotel that was.

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15 comments
CommonSense
CommonSense

You can bet this guy supports the Democratic Party. This is the guy the PAC biden and Barry Sotero want to have guns, you law abiding citizens need to give up yours though!

santor12
santor12

This guys is a person that needs to be put away for ever..  I am so tired of seeing these people go to jail for a few months or a few years and get out of jail and commit the same crimes over and over. This piece of S#@$ needs to go to jail and never come out again.

crbullseye
crbullseye

Only 5 prior felony convictions? Any one in their right mind would think he is an upstanding man! The system is totally out of control, put losers like this behind bars for 20 years at least!

Wally
Wally

Looks like he wins a free membership to 24 Hour Fitness at Tent City!

j.peterson31
j.peterson31

you need to change your screenname from common sense to nonsense

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@CommonSense  he's also the same guy Brewer wants to have a gun along with people like Jared Laughner

Anonymous
Anonymous

@santor12 I hope you're not terribly concerned about the state's budget problems. Prison is expensive.


CommonSense
CommonSense

@danzigsdaddy Allowing criminals and Mental Health patients to wield guns is a Democratic stance son, Brewer is a Republican which mean s she believes in the rights of law abiding citizens.  

CommonSense
CommonSense

@danzigsdaddyYou did not read the bill did you.  The bill allows the reinstatement of a human's right to protect themselves and their family with a firearm if they meet certain criteria and the court deems the person is of well mental health and not a danger or threat to society.  If the person has already returned to society and is now contributing to society like an a law abiding citizen would, I agree not only should they have their civil rights restored but any protection under the US Bill of Rights and Constitution as well. Not all felonies are committed by career criminals and not all felonies mean a person is a danger or threat to society.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

that would be house bill 2645, and she pushed it through 1 month after the Jared Laughner shootings

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@CommonSense  well thats strange, then why was she the one to push through the bill to allow for the restoration of gun rights the people with mental illness histories? and why does she still support it?

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