Update: The featured photo of this article has been updated. A different LA Fitness was previously pictured in this article.
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Gaithersburg, MD – Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 4th District Patrol Investigative Unit have arrested and charged 18-year-old Misgana Kebede and 19-year-old Kai Torela for committing a series of thefts in June and October 2021 at the LA Fitness on Bel Pre Road in Silver Spring.
On June 15, Kebede assaulted a gym member at the location after the gym member accused him of stealing his headphones. Kebede fled the scene before police arrived.
On October 1 and 13, the debit cards of two victims were stolen from a locker at the location. Kebede and Torela made fraudulent purchases with the stolen credit cards at a Target store in Wheaton.
On October 1, another victim’s credit and debit cards were stolen from his vehicle, which was parked at the LA Fitness. Fraudulent transactions were then made by Kebede and Torela at different stores in Wheaton.
Detectives reviewed the surveillance videos of the stores and observed Kebede and Torela making the fraudulent transactions. During the investigation, Kebede and Torela were identified as the two suspects.
On December 2, Detectives obtained an arrest warrant against Kebede and charged him with 1 count of second degree-assault and 19 counts of theft and fraud related charges. Kebede was arrested and transported to the Central Processing Unit. On December 16, Kebede was released on $5,000 Unsecured Personal Bond.
Detectives filed a district court summons against Torela, charging him with 19 counts of theft and fraud related charges.
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