Silver Lake pilates studio owner warns of thieves

NeighborhoodWatchLogo.JPGStephanie Herrman of In & Up Pilates on Hyperion Avenue spent about 15 minutes giving a couple a tour of her Silver Lake studio last week.  Shortly after the couple left, Herman realized that her wallet was gone. She provides the details and wants to advise other business owners to be on guard:

On Thursday August 5th, I had a man and woman enter the Pilates studio I own and ask for information regarding Pilates.  As a business owner, I was more than happy to give the couple a tour of the studio, and explain Pilates workouts to them.  We talked for several minutes in the mat room, where I have my desk, and then per their request, we’ve moved into the equipment room to show them the Pilatus apparatus.

After talking more in the equipment room, the woman requested to use the restroom.  At this point, both I and the other instructor present, assumed that they had were feigning an interest in the studio to use the restroom.  After a few minutes, the woman returned, we talked further, they took a schedule, and left.  They were there a total of 10-12 minutes.

About 20 minutes later, I realized that my wallet was no longer in my purse.  My purse was lying under my desk and very visible, which was my mistake.  I just wanted to warn other businesses to be on their guard and don’t let people you don’t know into your private spaces.  I’ve been advised by the police that because I did not catch them in the act,  this is a loss and not a theft.

So with the caveat that I did not actually see the crime, they were merely the only people in the studio that I have not known for years, here’s their description:

Man and woman, both Hispanic, bilingual, late 30’s to early 40’s, both well dressed in casual clothes
Male: 5’6″-5’8″ 200+ lbs. recent hair cut (long on top, short on sides) polo shirt, jeans
Female: 5’4″ 160 – 180 lbs. hair pulled back, loose fitting, white cotton dress


  1. I can’t agree with posting this story.

    It is the owner’s responsibility to keep their store and belongings safe, maybe if they’d invest on a video camera, you’d have your witness.

    How would they have known where your wallet and purse was when they it was their first time there. Unless they scoped out the place and came up with a master plan on how to take your wallet. They probably did need to go to the bathroom and saw an opportunity to easily steal the wallet? And that’s only if they did steal it…you don’t even know yourself, your just judging them. I thought in America you were innocent until proven guilty? Guess not! That’s why the cops couldn’t do anything because there’s a thing called reasonable doubt! So just take your losses and learn from your mistake!

    Now, I can just imagine the looks I’ll get now whenever I walk into a business because I’m a 39 year old Hispanic, that’s also bilingual 5’9″ 205 lbs. with recent hair cut and I like to wear polo shirt with jeans.
    This story is going to create unnecessary hysteria…THANKS!!!

  2. Yes, lets stop giving descriptions of criminals just in case a reader of the same ethnicity gets offended.

    Get a grip and don’t take it so personally.

  3. @CHRIS:
    How do you know they were criminals? Did you see them take it? Can there be a possibility that she lost it somewhere else? Maybe misplaced it? WE DON’T KNOW!

    Usually when you give a discription of SUSPECTS, it’s because there is some kind of proof that they did it. So in reality, there is no reason to even put a description out there when nobody knows who or what actually happend, it’s all superficial evidence based on suspicions.

    It’s not that I’m taking it personally. The descriptions are very vague…it can actually be anybody out there that also fits my description. But since your safe, what do you care…right?

    In the end, the owner is responsible for her property and if she got caught slipping…don’t complain about it, fix it and avoid it ever happening again.

  4. From the description of the alleged perpetrators (rotund), sounds like they might have been perfect candidates for pilates.

  5. I would say they should probably do more cardio, rather than pilates..

  6. So they were two fat middle aged Latinos, yes?

    To “Sounds like me:” have you ever heard the expression “the lady doth protest too much or know what it implies? There is nothing wrong with someone posting their experience and describing the people.

  7. Sorry, missed punctuation. THe expression mentioned above is “the lady doth protest too much.”

  8. Sounds Like Me did it.

  9. @BARBERA: HA..that’s exactly what I’m talking about!
    The lady that protest too much loses credibility! I see that as the owner but I think your reffering it to me…are you?

    I still think it’s too much. It’s just a simple rule of being careful with your stuff regardless of who took it and I really don’t feel like we need to watch out for certain people. My guess is that IF they took it, it was a crime of opportunity that could have been avoided. There were two employees present, why wasn’t someone at the front desk? Isn’t this the simplest of rules? Is it possible that maybe while they were ALL in the other room, someone else walked in, didn’t see anyone but saw the purse. Either way, it’s unfortunate that we have people that take advantage of certain situations. But let’s not put a A.P.B out and make it seem like it’s a crime wave especially when we don’t know for fact that they took it.

    But since you busted out some Shakespeare on me…here’s one for you!

    “Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they”
    -Leonardo da Vinci

    @ Michelle: HAHA your right on that one. I think that if I really wanted to lose weight, I wouldn’t go for pilates. I’d be taking the “Walking Man’s” routine! xD

  10. Interesting post. So you did think at some point that they were only simulating an interest in Pilates to use the restroom? Still, you let one of them walk unattended through the room in which you had left your purse? I think this might have been a crime of opportunity, facilitated by your blunder of leaving an open purse in plain view and your unwillingness to cause offense to the perpetrators. You should have acted on your suspicions and been on guard.

    That said, you really have no proof. Posting their descriptions was ill-adviced.

  11. I feel like some of you are taking unnecessary stabs at the pilates studio owner. Whether or not it may have been a “crime of opportunity” does not give people a justification to take what doesn’t belong to them. I do not feel as though she is writing “woe is me” and writing about how much of a victim she is. She is merely WARNING other business owners to LEARN from her mistake. I feel like she realizes that it was a bit foolish to leave her purse unattended, and to let strangers walk through the store. She’s learned her lesson, and is advising others to be careful, as one could easily make the same careless mistake.

    Yes, sometimes we are careless, and fall victims in the process. But it doesn’t mean that a crime deserves to happen to you, just because you weren’t as cautious are you could be. Any one of you could forget to leave your car door unlocked over night, or your house for that matter. It doesn’t mean that you DESERVE to have your belongings taken.

    lighten up. she’s trying to help.

  12. This SAME couple just pulled a similar stunt last night at Pure Pilates in Encino!! They took my wallet!! They knocked on the door. The female who fits your description exactly, wanted to know about Pilates. When my instructor showed her the brochure, she pretended to not speak English and directed her husband to find out more. Then, the walked farther into the studio and asked if they could see the equipment (in a very pushy way) and tried asking all these questions about what I was doing. Then when the instructor told them to go, the man said he wanted to go to the bathroom. As he walked to the bathroom, she took my wallet out of my purse (I found this out later when I got home an hour later and the bank was calling me non-stop about Target charges). While the man was in the bathroom, she got nervous and ran up to us, jiggled her big stomach (she looked like she might have just had a baby) and shouted, “I need Pilates SEE SEE”, the she screamed “Omar, what’s taking you so long, hurry, hurry”. When the man exited the bathroom, they said they would be back tomorrow to sign up for some sessions!! I am convinced these are the same people. I flied a police report today. Please contact me if you want to discuss what happened.

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